Legal

Rick Ross Loses Millions In Stolen Identity Lawsuit Appeal

By HHL JT

Rick Ross has to pay $2 million for identity theft.

And, no, this has nothing to do with the notorious drug dealer Freeway Rick Ross, whose name the artist-formally-known as William Leonard Roberts II took for the stage, and who has tried (and failed) to sue the MMG boss three times for copyright infringement.

It has to do with Ross's 2015 hit album Mastermind. In 2013, Ross announced the album title and also began calling himself "Mastermind" in interviews.

This irked relatively unknown California rapper Raul Caiz, who had been performing as Mastermind for 20 years and who, more importantly, had trademarked the moniker.

He sent Ross and company a cease and desist letter. When that didn't work, he sued Ross, Def Jam Records and Universal Music Group for trademark infringement, unjust enrichment, and misappropriation, seeking $2 million.

In 2016, a judge ruled that because "mastermind" is such a common term Ross was safe to call himself that under Fair Use and canceled Caiz's trademark.

Caiz appealed that ruling, and last week a panel of appellate judges reversed the judge’s decision and awarded Caiz the trademark and the $2 million he sought.

No word from Ross's camp on the expensive reversal.

Posted In: Legal Rick Ross

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