by Mark Malek
If you read this blog at all, you have figured out that I am a sports fan of sorts. I think we all know that I have a slight interest in intellectual property (I had better for the sake of my clients). You could only imagine my excitement when the riveting intellectual property news that I normally follow crossed over into my sports news. Many of you may have heard of the trademark dispute between David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox and music sensation Jay-Z. I’m not particularly a fan of either one of them, but I certainly found the story to be interesting. Jay-Z and Juan Perez own the 40/40 Club, with locations in New York, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Chicago, Tokyo and Macau.
Apparently, Ortiz thought it would be a great idea to open a club in his home country of the Dominican Republic called the 40/40 club. It would be nice to attempt to say that he did it without knowing about Jay-Z’s club, but that does not seem to be the case. 40/40 is a term used in baseball to refer to achieving the milestone of hitting 40 home runs and stealing 40 bases. Reports indicate that Ortiz had frequented Jay-Z’s club in the past. It probably doesn’t help that Jay-Z is a Yankee fan and Ortiz plays for the Red Sox…not that there’s any bad blood between those two teams…
Jay-Z filed his lawsuit for trademark infringement in April, demanding $5 Million in damages. Unfortunately, Ortiz apparently decided not to answer the complaint. (Source.) When a judge threatened to enter a default judgment against Ortiz, an attorney representing him informed the judge of Ortiz’s intention to settle the dispute by changing the name of his Dominican Republic club.
Although none of this was ground breaking IP news, it peaked my interest nonetheless.