Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law

Trademark infringement case against Kanye West dismissed

New Jersey fans of the entertainer Kanye West will be able to see his upcoming film created with actor and producer Dame Dash with the title originally intended for the work. A trademark lawsuit brought forth in federal court by the group Bachata duo Loisaidas had alleged infringement when West and Dash released a trailer for their film that was also called "Loisaidas."

The film depicts the drug trade in the Lower Eastside of Manhattan. The founder of the singing duo insisted that he and his partner had trademarked the term in 2011 and 2013. According to court filings, the group alleged that the film with the same name confused fans and sullied the brand image established by the singers by associating them with the drug trade. The gansta rap film conflicted with the romantic content presented through the Bachata music produced by the duo, according to the lawsuit.

A federal judge disagreed and dismissed the lawsuit on July 14, 2016. The judge based the decision on the fact that people commonly know that the term Loisaidas refers to the Lower Eastside of Manhattan and that it preexisted the group's trademark. The First Amendment protects the right of West and Dash to use the word to describe a film set in that neighborhood.

A company that perceives a threat to its intellectual property and brand image could consult an attorney about how to take action. For cases involving trademark law, an attorney could document evidence of the client's existing claim. Legal action might seek to end the infringement and obtain compensation.

Source: Hip Hop DX, "Latin Music Duo "Loisaidas" Trademark Case Against Dame Dash & Kanye West Dismissed", Cherise Johnson, July 16, 2016

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Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law - Intellectual Property

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