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Updated: August 21, 2013 11:01 IST

HC orders status quo on Nike-Virat Kohli contract

Special Correspondent
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Nike India said in its plea that Virat Kohli has been negotiating with third parties in violation of terms of its contract with him. File photo
The Hindu Nike India said in its plea that Virat Kohli has been negotiating with third parties in violation of terms of its contract with him. File photo

It also ordered issue of emergent notice to the cricketer

The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday ordered maintenance of status quo with regard to a contract that Nike India Pvt. Ltd., multi-national sportswear and equipment company, entered into with cricketer Virat Kohli to endorse its products.

Justice Huluvadi G. Ramesh, before whom the appeal filed by Nike India came up for hearing, ordered issue of emergent notice to Mr. Kohli.

The company questioned the order of a civil court in Bangalore that had refused to grant an ex-parte injunction, restraining Mr. Kohli from soliciting, negotiating or entering into any agreement with any third party with respect to the endorsements or services covered by in its contract.

‘Nurtured him’

“The civil court had failed to appreciate that the company paid Mr. Kohli exorbitant sums of money under the contract, and has supported and nurtured him during his early days as a cricketer based on the assurance and agreement that the contract could be duly extended by a period of one year,” the company claimed.

The appeal said that Nike had entered into a “cricket consultant contract” with Mr. Kohli from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2007, and later a fresh contract was signed for the period between August 1, 2008 and July 31, 2013 for exclusive endorsement rights. Mr. Kohli was paid Rs. 1.42 crore for this contract. This contract had a clause for extension of contract for another year, till July 31, 2014 with certain conditions.

The company claimed that it had not only extended the contract for another year, but had also offered to sign the contract with Mr. Kohli beyond 2014, and there were negotiations from both the parties in this regard.

However, the company has contended that Mr. Kohli on June 6, 2013 wrote a letter “making certain self-serving and baseless allegations with respect to implementation of the contract” and rejected extension of contract. This action of Mr. Kohli, the company alleged, was due to non-acceptance of his “unilateral and unreasonable terms” suggested by him.

Pointing out that Mr. Kohli has been negotiating with third parties in violation of terms of its contract with him, the company has said that refusal of ex-parte injunction by the civil court would cause severe hardship as any endorsement of a rival brand by Mr. Kohli would cause immeasurable damage to its brand.

It is clear that Nike is trying to show off ts corporate power just by forcing Kohli to extend this agreement. In all possibilities, any extension would be purely on the terms as would be agreed between the parties. If Kohli doesnt want to extend it for whatever reasons then NIke cannot force him. But then the agreement has not been publicized and we cannot presume things. Hope that the HC will go through the agreement in its entirety and pass suitable orders.

from:  TMC
Posted on: Aug 22, 2013 at 02:25 IST

Mr Kohli must be penalized and court must ask him to pay money as damages and all the fee Nike paid to lawyers etc for his acts

from:  satyen
Posted on: Aug 21, 2013 at 07:49 IST
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