New Jersey music fans may be interested to learn that Jay-Z has agreed to proceed with arbitration in his legal fight with Iconix Brand Group. The brand management company filed a lawsuit against the iconic rap artist and entrepreneur for trademark infringement after the “Roc Nation” logo was used on Major League Baseball apparel.
Initially, Jay-Z declined to undergo arbitration before the American Arbitration Association because the organization lacked an appropriate number of African-American or minority arbitrators. However, AAA indicated that it is willing to undergo an arbitrator selection process for the case and that the selection process will include “meaningful consideration” of African-American arbitrators. It further agreed to take measures to improve the diversity of its available arbitrators for future arbitration cases. As a result, Jay-Z and his legal team agreed to end the temporary restraining order on the case that was granted in November and undergo arbitration.
In April 2017, Iconix sued Jay-Z and Major League Baseball, claiming that the MLB’s use of the “Roc Nation” logo on baseball caps violated its trademark protections. The company acquired the logo for $204 million and claims it possesses full control over its licensing and use. It is seeking $10 million in damages. The case is scheduled for a status conference in March 2019.
Companies facing trademark infringement disputes may benefit from contacting a trademark law attorney. The attorney might review the case and take the appropriate steps to protect a client’s intellectual property rights both before and during litigation. If financial harm has resulted from an instance of trademark infringement, the attorney may be able to negotiate a fair settlement.
Source: Complex, “JAY-Z Has Lack of Diversity Claim Honored in Trademark Infringement Case,” Jose Martinez, Dec. 10, 2018