by Dominick J. Fils-Aimé | September 29, 2016
Rapper Jay-Z and entrepreneur Damon Dash finally have something they can celebrate together, as the two recently won a lawsuit that could have resulted in the duo losing $7 million. U.S District Judge Andrew Carter dismissed a claim from disgruntled Bronx clothing designer, Dwayne Walker, accusing the Roc A fella founders of copyright infringement in relation to the company’s famed logo. According to Reuters report, the judge dismissed the lawsuit claiming that Walker was not entitled to royalties under a contract allegedly negotiated two decades ago. The decision was handed down on Monday September 26th.
The lawsuit in question was filed in the summer of 2012, with Walker claiming he was the curator of the esteemed Roc A Fella logo in 1995. On the contrary, Jay-Z and Dame Dash maintained that the logo was developed by a Roc art director. Judge Carter argued that Walker’s case was deficient in evidence, citing the lack of proof that the 20 year old contract even existed in the first place. Walker’s only defense regarding the contract was witness testimony which Carter didn’t find convincing enough. Judge Andrew Carter also noted that the plaintiff’s claims came too late.
“This leaves only plaintiff’s own self-serving testimony that he drafted the contract, that he and Dash signed it, and that he lost track of it in 1998,” the judge explained. “This testimony alone is not enough.”
Despite the unfavorable decision, according to Walker’s lawyer, Gregory Berry, his client does plan on appealing the decision.
“The decision is quite startling,” Berry said in an email. “Walker made the logo in 1995,” he continued. “Then in 2013, in response to this suit – never before – the defendants find a guy who is willing to claim now that HE made the logo…. Sound like a factual question for trial? We agree.”