U.S. basketball star LeBron James' media channel, Uninterrupted, has sent a letter to the University of Alabama about what it claims is possible intellectual property infringement concerning a new web series called 'Shop Talk' that was featured in a trailer recently on the Alabama Football Twitter feed. It shows alumnus Julio Jones, Alabama football coach Nick Saban, and other Alabama football players talking in a barbershop called "Bama Cuts" that's located within the football team's athletic facility.
James' Uninterrupted channel claims that Alabama's 'Shop Talk' infringes on its show, called 'The Shop,' which features James, Draymond Green, 2 Chainz, and others talking about music, culture, and sports in a barbershop. Two episodes of the show have already aired.
ESPN obtained a copy of Uninterrupted's letter that was sent to the University of Alabama last week. It reads, in part:
"Your continued exploitation of ‘Shop Talk’ infringes ‘Uninterrupted’s’ copyright, trademark rights and other valuable intellectual property rights in ‘The Shop’ and significantly damages ‘Uninterrupted’s’ commercial prospects for ‘The Shop,'" The letter goes on ask for a copy of Shop Talk's first episode and invites Alabama to a discussion of its concerns before “rushing into legal proceedings.”
Stay tuned …
Update, 4/18/18:The Washington Post reports that Sebastian Jenkins, who owns a business called the Social Club in Detroit, Michigan, has filed a lawsuit for trademark infringement, claiming that LeBron James and his business associates stole his idea for a video series set in a barbershop from his concept called "Shop Talk," for which he filed a trademark in February 2016.