When you hear Teflon Don, you may immediately think of the Rock Ross’ fourth studio album, or maybe the high profile mob boss that was likened as “The Teflon Don” due to his ability to slide away from the law. If for some reason you thought of the rapper from Memphis, Tennessee who goes by Teflon Don, then kudos.
Teflon Don, a.k.a. Donald Askey, Jr., mostly known for his Memphis Grizzlies anthem, has filed a Federal lawsuit against Rick Ross for trademark infringement as well as common-law trademark rights, trademark delusion, unfair competition, tortious interference, fraud and identity theft, according to MemphisRap.com. Named Defendants include Ross, DJ Khaled, Def Jam Recordings, Universal Music Group, Slip-N-Slide Records and Maybach Music Group.
As already mentioned, John Gotti was also known as “Teflon Don.” In response to this, Askey, Jr. says that he was given the name while serving as a cook in the Army and that he did not rip it off of Gotti.
This lawsuit serves as round two for Rick Ross in trademark infringement battles. He was sued by drug boss Ricky “Freeway” Ross who alleged that the rapper ripped his name off.
In the case at hand, some may think, “well, Askey uses ‘Teflon Don’ as his rap name and Ross used it as his album name. Those are two different things.” The answer to that is simple. Infringement can still take place even if the trademark is not being used for the exact same thing. A trademark owner has rights to enforce its mark in the particular class of goods or services it is currently registered in as well as those classes of goods or services to which it will “naturally expand into,” according to the Zone of Natural Expansion doctrine.
Good luck gentlemen. Cheers.