As reported by MiamiNewTimes, former drug dealer and prisoner LA based Ricky “Freeway” Ross, has brought legal action against Miami Rapper Rick Ross (William Leonard Roberts II).
He is seeking monetary damages of $10 million dollars, claiming he has been unlawfully deprived the Plaintiff from profiting from his image.
The former drug dealer has joined Shawn Carter (Jay-Z), all record labels Ross has recorded music with and a further 1-100 ‘Does’, just in case he decides to add a further 100 persons as defendants.
Ross is also seeking an injunction to prohibit the release of Ross’ pending album, Teflon Don, in addition to claiming fifty percent of his gross royalties and further damages.
The complaint contains some intriguing claims which essentially revolve around the central theme that the rapper has been exploiting the drug dealer’s name. Freeway Ricky Ross alleges Ross has been wrongfully appropriating his prior criminal image for his commercial benefit and using it to enhance his credibility in rap music.
Although the former LA drug kingpin hasn’t registered his name as a trademark, it is probably fair to say that his name is widely known for it’s unlawful use in commerce.
Ross suggests a criminal conspiracy between the record label and the rapper to profit from the use of his image.
The complaint includes causes of action alleging trade mark infringement, dilution and related actions including unfair competition and misappropriation.
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