Jay-Z Scores Legal Victory in Trademark Dispute Case
On Tuesday (Nov. 27), months after Iconix Brand Group filed a $204 million lawsuit against Jay-Z and Roc Nation for using the Roc Nation logo on Major League Baseball merchandise, the music mogul and his attorneys filed a restraining order demanding that the case be halted, citing a lack of diversity as the reason for the order. As it turns out, Hov has earned a victory in the ongoing case, with the judge ruling in his favor on Wednesday (Nov. 28).
As reported by The New York Times, a judge ruled in the rapper’s favor, resulting in an injunction until a Dec. 11 hearing.
The rapper successfully argued that the lack of racial diversity among eligible arbitrators who could rule on his case at the American Arbitration Association (AAA) was unfair discrimination and a judge in the New York State Supreme Court agreed. As such, the proceedings have temporarily been halted.
According to the rapper’s court petition, he said he was “confronted with a stark reality” while being unable to identify an arbitrator of color who could hear the case, save for two men and one woman, of which one was already involved with Iconix in related litigation.
"It would stand to reason that prospective litigants — which undoubtedly include minority owned and operated businesses — expect there to be the possibility that the person who stands in the shoes of both judge and jury reflects the diverse population," the petition read.
The dispute between Jay-Z and Iconix first began in 2017, a decade after the rapper sold his Rocawear clothing line to the company for $204 million in 2007. After both parties sued and countersued, the two entered arbitration.
Each side was to pick four arbitrators from the AAA database to proceed with the hearing and the association would supply another four. Each side then was to eliminate names until one was agreed upon by both. With the lack of diversity presenting an issue, the judge decided to temporarily halt proceedings.
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