Rapper Rick Ross Wins Trademark Case

Nov 9, 2010 - LegalZoom News Sources
Rapper Rick Ross Wins Trademark Case

A Los Angeles federal judge has rejected a $10 million claim by a convicted drug kingpin who has the same name as rapper Rick Ross, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The lawsuit, filed in June by "Freeway" Ricky Ross, alleged that the rap musician had stolen his name and identity and that Jay-Z had led a conspiracy exploiting the crime legend.

"Freeway" Ricky Ross had been convicted of running a drug empire in Los Angeles during the 1980s and 1990s and was later linked to the CIA's "Iran-Contra" political scandal, according to the news provider.

Since being released from prison in 1995, "Freeway" claims his name has gained value, contending that he trademarked his name for the film "100 Kilos." The plaintiff had withdrawn some of his claims, but was still pursuing the defendants for unfair competition, trademark violations and the misappropriation of his publicity rights, according to the news source.

In his ruling, Judge Percy Anderson said that the plaintiff could not win a trademark infringement claim because he could not legitimately demonstrate that he owned trademark rights for the name.