Country star Zac Brown has been hit with a copyright lawsuit from a former employer.

Leathercrafter Kyle Landas gifted the Zac Brown Band frontman a special guitar strap featuring his trademark image of the Unity Tree back in 2010, and a short time later he began working at the singer's custom shop Southern Hide.

Landas was ultimately fired from his job in August (12), and now he claims the singer used his unique design on the cover of the group's second album You Get What You Give, as well as on a number of promotional items, including T-shirts and advertising material.

He filed papers at the U.S. District Court in Georgia on 30 November (12), accusing Brown of copyright infringement and unfair competition, among other charges. He is seeking $150,000 (Gbp93,750) in damages and legal fees.

He is also asking for a product recall and a court injunction barring the future use of the Unity Tree design on Brown's merchandise and equipment.