‘Freeway’ Ricky Ross Loses Lawsuit Against Rick Ross
After drug kingpin "Freeway" Ricky Ross filed an injunction against rapper Rick Ross for using his moniker and profiting from its implications, the mobster has been left out cold. According to AllHipHop, the United States District for Southern California has dismissed a $10 million trademark infringement lawsuit filed against the rapper, Jay-Z, Def Jam and Universal Music Group, claiming that the criminal's name did not have "secondary meaning" and value in commerce from drug dealing.
"In support of his trademark claims, Plaintiff alleges that his name was well known in the drug trade and by law enforcement segments of the urban crime, rap and black comity because he did business as Rick Ross, until he was arrested, prosecuted and incarcerated in federal prison," said the court. "Because this illegal activity cannot be used to establish secondary meaning, such allegations do not provide support for Plaintiff having a valid trademark for his name."
"Freeway" Ricky Ross, who obtained the "Freeway" moniker after owning several homes along Southern California's Harbor Freeway, initially accused the emcee of channeling his likeness. A well-known mobster, Ricky Ross sold thousands of kilos of crack cocaine in L.A. during the '80s and '90s and was named in the Iran-Contra scandal, which landed him life in prison. After years of model behavior, he was released from jail to a halfway house in March 2009 and freed in September '09.
Ricky has 30 days to appeal the ruling, though it is unlikely that he will get far in proceedings, as there is insufficient substantiation to his claim.