Rick Ross hit with $2 mn judgment
Los Angeles: Hip-hop star Rick Ross has been asked to cough up $2 million in a trademark infringement case.
Independent rapper Raul Caiz sued Ross and his label heads at Def Jam Records and Universal Music Group in November 2015 for trademark infringement, unjust enrichment and misappropriation, claiming Ross began using his stage name Mastermind without his permission, reports aceshowbiz.com.
Ross's sixth studio album is titled "Mastermind". According to the lawsuit, he has been referring to himself using the moniker since 2013. Caiz took issue with its use because he has been known as Mastermind for 17 years, during which he has had the name trademarked.
He was seeking $2 million in damages and an injunction to stop Ross from using the moniker, but Ross, 42, subsequently fired back with a countersuit and asked for Caiz's case to be dismissed.
In December 2016, a judge sided with Ross and tossed the case. Caiz's trademark was also cancelled after the judge ruled consumers would not immediately associate the term 'Mastermind' with him. But Caiz has now won an appeal and has been awarded his request for damages, according to a gossip portal Bossip.
Last week, a panel of appellate judges issued their opinion, reversed the judge's decision and awarded Caiz the $2 million. The judges said Ross's argument that the dictionary definition of "mastermind" includes a musician and said there was no need for him to use the word to describe himself.