The battle over the iconic Roc-A-Fella logo continues. A judge has issued to proceed to discovery and deposition in a copyright infringement lawsuit filed the original designer.
Clothing maker Dwayne Walker created the logo for then Roc-A-Fella Records partners Jay Z, Damon Dash and Kareem Burke in 1995. He alleges the logo was licensed for $3,500 dollars and 2% of revenues for ten years after the first year of use. To date Walker claims he has only been paid the $3,500 dollar fee.
In July 2012, a lawsuit against Jay Z was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan seeking 7 million dollars in damages. According to court records a federal judge denied Jay Z’s first motion to dismiss Walker’s complaint in August 2013.
On March 20th 2014, a Manhattan federal magistrate judge has granted New York clothing designer Dwayne Walker’s motion to proceed with discovery in his lawsuit against Jay-Z, Damon Dash, and Universal Music Group for breach of contract and copyright infringement. The order clears the way for document production and depositions.
Gregory Berry, Walker’s attorney, stated, “We are pleased with the court’s order. For over 18 months Jay Z and the other defendants have done everything they can to avoid swearing under oath to the events that led to the creation of the logo. With the decision today, the defendants’ delay tactics must stop, and Mr. Walker’s quest for justice can move forward.”
In 2004, Jay Z, Damon Dash and Kareem Burke sold their remaining 50% stake in Roc-A-Fella Records to their parent label Island Def Jam for a reported $10 million. Currently Roc-A-Fella is a subsidiary of Universal Music Group.
This is not the first nor last time Hov has been named in a trademark legal battle. Earlier this year Jay was included in a 600 million dollar filing in regards to the Brooklyn Nets name.
Jay Z’s ascension to the top during his Roc-A-Fella days is also detailed heavily in Moguldom’s first documentary, A Genius Leave The Hood: The Unauthorized Story Of Jay-Z.