Former drug kingpin Freeway Ricky Ross has officially filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against rappers Jay-Z and Rick Ross.
Paperwork shows that Freeway is also attempting to block Ross’ upcoming Teflon Don album release.
Freeway Ricky’s attorney Melvin Sharpe Jr., ESQ., filed a trademark infringement lawsuit on Friday (June 18th) in U.S. District Court, Central District of California. Judge Percy Anderson will issue summonses to Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and rapper Rick Ross who could both be called to testify during the discovery process. Jay-Z is named in the lawsuit because he signed Ross to Island Def Jam in 2006, while he was President of the legendary label, which Ross still calls home. On Friday, lawyers for Freeway Ricky filed paperwork seeking a temporary restraining order for preliminary and permanent injunction relief, to officially block the release of Ross’ upcoming album Teflon Don. (All Hip Hop)
Last month, Freeway justified his decision to handle the situation in a legal manner.
“I just want my name back,” Rick told XXL. “I don’t want to have to be ‘the real Rick Ross.’ When I go places I have to explain to people that I am the real one because Def Jam has put him on TV and now people recognize him. It causes a conflict.” Although he hasn’t made up his mind about whether he wants complete rights over the use of the name or just damages, he maintains that the suit is not personal. “It ain’t even really against William Roberts you know what I’m saying?” Ross added. “It’s really against Def Jam because they making all this money off of my name and you know those guys didn’t even reach out and said hello to me since I been home.” (XXL Mag)
Freeway’s nephew/rapper, Slim da Mobster, has also addressed Ross’ usage of the name.
“So for me, it just be funny when I hear a n*gga use somebody that I actually know’s name and it comes to [known] for one, [Rick Ross] was a cop or a C.O., police, worker, whatever. Now you’re confusing people with this picture you painted. That’s like you painting a picture and me takin’ credit for it. That’s like your picture with my signature at the bottom of it. That ain’t cool. When you’ve sat in prison for over 20 years for this sh*t, I don’t want anybody using my name unless you’re along those lines or you’re of that caliber.” (Hip Hop DX)
Past reports suggest Freeway has been trying to stop Ross from using his name since 2006.
The ex-convict claims his lawyers sent cease-and-desist letters to executives at music label Def Jam in 2006, after they signed Roberts, to protest “the exploitation and misuse of his name”. He maintains he received no response from music bosses and claims the star went on to profit from the moniker “without his consent”. (Contact Music)
Teflon Don is currently scheduled to drop July 2010.
Check out Freeway Rick Ross speaking on Rick Ross down below: