Nike Sues Sega, Leagas Over Copyright

LOS ANGELES — Nike today said it has filed suit in Federal Court of Oregon against Sega of America Dreamcast and its agency, Leagas Delaney in San Francisco, for copyright infringement and unfair competition.

The suit claims that a Sega TV ad for basketball videogame NBA 2K2 is a renactment of a Nike ad called “Frozen Moment.” In both spots, the scene shifts from a fast-paced basketball game sequence to the slow-motion actions of onlookers.

“We believe we were damaged,” said Nike representative Scott Reames. “They have infringed on our copyright. It’s unfair competition to use our ad to replicate almost the entire thing, scene by scene.”

In the short term, Reames said Nike is asking Sega to stop airing the ad. The company is also asking for unspecified damages and claims that it in entitled to “a reasonable royalty on all sales of NBA 2K2 video games,” the suit says.

Officials at Leagas Delaney could not immediately be reached. A Sega representative said that the company had not yet received an official complaint from Nike, and the videogame maker therefore declined coment.