Back in September, the estate of Nipsey Hussle filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against a number of merchandisers for allegedly selling unauthorized products bearing the late rapper’s name and likeness. Now, the presiding judge has granted the plaintiff’s motion for a temporary restraining order.
The estate of Nipsey Hussle, which is managed by the “Double Up” artist’s brother, Samiel Asghedom, submitted the action to an Illinois federal court, naming as defendants several “individuals and business entities of unknown makeup who own and/or operate one or more of the e-commerce stores” in question.
These defendants, the complaint elaborated, “reside and/or operate in the People’s Republic of China or other foreign jurisdictions with lax trademark enforcement systems.” And the tactics that the individuals and organizations use “to conceal their identities and the full scope of their operation make it virtually impossible” to pinpoint their names as well as the logistical nuances of their alleged counterfeiting ring, the plaintiff stated.
But the defendants’ webstores “often share unique identifiers, such as templates with common design elements that intentionally omit any contact information,” besides featuring “the same registration patterns, accepted payment methods, check-out methods, keywords, advertising tactics,” and more, the Nipsey Hussle estate maintained.
Keeping the points in mind, the plaintiff relayed that the defendants’ alleged infringement of multiple Nipsey Hussle trademarks had caused “irreparable harm” to the genuine product line, with the same parties allegedly facilitating “a misleading representation of fact as to the origin and sponsorship” of the bootleg items.
The Nipsey Hussle estate also called for the defendants (and related parties) to be barred from using the trademarks, manufacturing the associated products, and selling the items, among other things. The plaintiff is likewise seeking ownership and control of the unauthorized e-commerce websites’ domain names, up to three times “all profits” deriving from the operation, or, “in the alternative” to the latter, “$2,000,000 for each and every use of the” trademarks.
As mentioned at the outset, the court has formally granted the plaintiff’s request for a temporary restraining order, new legal documents show.
Plus, the presiding judge approved the “plaintiff’s motion for electronic service of process” – an important point, given the defendants’ location – and a “motion for leave to file under seal.” Needless to say, the latter could shield some of the case’s especially interesting elements from the public eye.
Yesterday, it came to light that Nipsey Hussle’s “final” music project would become available to fans as NFTs. While the tokens were originally set to debut this Thursday, January 6th, though, “legal issues” concerning a descriptor in the NFTs’ listing have prompted a delay, officials told DMN today.