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Kobe Bryant Lawsuit -- Something Stinks at Staples

5/11/2011 6:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Kobe Bryant is at the center of a federal lawsuit, claiming the NBA star is being exploited in the very arena where he plays.

Kobe Bryant Lawsuit

Panini America, which claims to have exclusive licensing rights to all things Kobe, alleges the owner of The Art of the Game -- a kiosk inside Staples Center -- is not only illegally selling Kobe merchandise, it's claiming that The Art of the Game is audacious enough to sell merchandise with forged Kobe signatures.

One item sticks in Panini's craw -- a poster featuring Kobe and L.A. Clippers sensation Blake Griffin -- with forged signatures. Panini claims The Art of the Game is hocking the poster by claiming the signatures are authentic.

Panini wants a judge to shut down the alleged scam -- plus tons of damages.

Keith Fink, the lawyer for The Art of the Game, tells TMZ, "The gallery we have in Staples has been selling art signed by Kobe with Kobe's image for a decade.  Virtually every night Kobe's agent or marketing team passed by the gallery and never once has someone had an issue with the art."

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16 COMMENTS

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1.

sick of it    

first

1079 days ago
2.

c    

Wow, THAT'S your only defense? That you never got caught before? You're screwed.

1079 days ago
3.

bunny    

Are they copying a real signature of Kobe's or writing it themselves and selling it like people do on ebay? If they are writing it themselves, they are in big trouble.

1079 days ago
4.

Mikey    

Its over for Kobe and the Lakers. Kobe will never win another championship.

1079 days ago
5.

Mork12    

Wow, is that a bad angle on Blake Griffin's jersey or what?

1079 days ago
6.

Lori    

KOBE SUCKS and so does his troll of a wife. They don't need anymore money so why all of the bitching? Oh..it's the parasites who FEED off of the rapist. Got it.

By the way, the shop owners who live around them say the wife is a complete A HOLE when she comes in.

1079 days ago
7.

Gary    

sports stars, movie stars....class is on an island somewhere with the dodo bird!

1079 days ago
8.

Sad-Sad    

Keith Fink is the lawyer? Yeah your screwed... That guy is the worse lawyer EVER! Fame chasing, money hungry f**k wad. He will do anything to get his dumb name in print.

1079 days ago
9.

jmkh    

um....thats not kobes auto, its blake griffins

1079 days ago
10.

PAUL BOOTH    

" PRIDE GOES BEFORE THE FALL "...NOW ITS TIME TOO EXPLAIN - WHY WE DID SO BADLY..." AFTER ALL WE ARE THE GREATEST "...DOESN'T
GOD KNOW WHO WE ARE...BY THE WAY, WHERE WAS GOD'S FAVOR...THREE PETE,,THREE PETE,,WE'RE SO NEET,,WILL NEVER GET BEAT.....
WHAT----------HAPPENED

ROMANS: 1: 30--33...ANSWER
THEY REFCTED MY ADVISE AND PAID NO ATTENTION--WHEN I CORRECTED
THEM...THAT IS WHY THEY MUST EAT THE BITTER FRUIT OF LIVING THEIR OWN WAY...THEY MUST EXPERIENCE THE FULL TERROR OF THE PATH THEY HAVE CHOSEN...FOR THEY ARE SIMPLETONS--WHO TURN AWAY
FROM ME TO DEATH...THEY ARE FOOLS, AND THEIR OWN...COMPACENCY
WILL DESTROY THEM (BUT) ALL WHO LISTEN TO ME WILL LIVE
IN PEACE AND SAFTY...UNAFRAID OF HARM...... YOU CHOSE HOWS THAT
WORKING FOR YOU....

1078 days ago
11.

cesar medrano    

i bought this picture on game 1 in the lakers vs dallas in the staple center i paid over a thousand what can i do to redeem my money back??????

1078 days ago
12.

MBP    

Keith FInk is the worst lawyer in Los Angeles and will undoubtedly loose this case as he does all the cases he is lucky enough to get. That Fink is the lawyer representing this firm tells me that there is no case and it is simply an attempt to take money from someone who has money.

1078 days ago
13.

Collectible Man    

I went up to this guy at the Staples Center and notified him several times that his AUTOGRAPHS HE IS SELLING IS a forgery AND IS FAKE! FINALLY SOMEONE IS DOING SOMETHING ABOUT THIS PIECE OF CRAP DEFRAUDING INDIVIDUALS ACROSS THE COUNTRY THAT COME TO THE STAPLES CENTER! THIS GUY ALSO HAD A SETUP AT DODGERS PARK AND MAYBE ANAHEIM TOO? ITS NOT ONLY HIS KOBE'S AND BLAKE GRIFFIN'S.. ALMOST EVERY AUTOGRAPH HE SELLS IS A FORGERY/FAKE. BUYERS BEWARE!

1078 days ago
14.

Dianne    

Cesar...don't feel bad. I'm sure there are a lot of suckers out there that lost a hell of a lot more than a thousand on that idiot betting on the games. Sweeeeeeeeeep! GO MAV'S!

1073 days ago
15.

Christopher    

OMG WHAT IS GOING ON KOBE

1071 days ago
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