Shawn Carter, a.k.a. Jay-Z, is being sued for $600 million over the use of the name “Brooklyn Nets,” Radaronline.com is reporting. From Business Insider:
RadarOnline.com has exclusively learned that the rapper and businessman has been named as a defendant in a $600M lawsuit by a disgruntled entrepreneur who claims that he trademarked the name “Brooklyn Nets” long before the NBA team ever moved out of New Jersey. The Nets were also named as defendants in the suit.
The Plaintiff, Dr. Francois de Cassagnol, filed a pro se complaint with the Eastern District of the State of New York on December 9, 2013, asking for a juried trial over the matter — and $600 million in damages, at least.
The report states that Radar has obtained court documents that claim that Jay-Z as well as Nets minority owner Bruce Ratner “fraudulently conspired to find loopholes” in the U.S. Patent Office in order to use the term that Dr. de Cassagnol says he registered more than 10 years ago.
According to the court documents, the “Brooklyn Nets Entertainment Logo” was first used in Louisiana in 2003:
Indeed, documents submitted as evidence show that de Cassagnol filed applications in 2012 for “The Brooklyn Nets Entertainment Logo,” which was first used in the State of Louisiana back in 2003.
He even claims that before the team moved to Brooklyn, he spoke with officials at the New Jersey Nets organization and the NBA who assured him that the team would not use the term “Brooklyn Nets,” but would most likely opt for “New York Nets.”
Unfortunately, he claims, “It was pure mismanagement of the facts.”
As soon as the Nets announced back in 2012 that they would go with the name “Brooklyn Nets,” de Cassagnol has been pushing his case.
According to the report, a previous appeal to the U.S. Trademark Office found in favor of the NBA was unsuccessful with the court ruling in favor of the Nets. None of de Cassagnol’s intended uses were large enough to overrule the NBA’s federal trademark application.
de Cassagnol remains undeterred by the previous findings:
Despite those findings, however, de Cassagnol remains undeterred. Since the value of the New Jersey Nets increased several hundred million dollars upon their move to Brooklyn, he says, he is asking a court to award him at least $600 million, and to prevent the NBA and affiliated organizations from using the term “New Jersey Nets.”
Earlier this season, Jay-Z had divested ownership of the Nets and had sold his small stake to now head coach Jason Kidd in order for him to pursue his goal of becoming a sports agent. Though not an owner of the Nets any longer, Jay-Z still owns a small percentage of the Barclays Center.
As has been estimated by many media outlets, Jay-Z’s net worth is somewhere around $500 million. A lawsuit of this magnitude must give even the rapper turned businessman some hesitation or fear.