Kanye West and Damon Dash Win Lawsuit Over ‘Loisaidas’ Film
A judge has threw out a trademark infringement case involving Kanye West and Damon Dash’s internet-based film, Loisaidas.
A Latin band called Loisaidas, which is Spanish slang for New York’s “Lower east siders,” filed a lawsuit against West and Dash claiming their movie infringed on the band’s name. The group’s leader, Michael Medina, said that he’s been using the name since 2008 and got trademarks in 2011 and 2012. West and Dash’s ‘Loisaidas’ film was made in 2015, the suit indicated.
On Thursday (July 14), Manhattan federal judge Judge Katherine Forrest ruled in favor of the rap moguls, stating in a 14-page judgement that their use of the term for their web series is protected by the First Amendment.
“The mark at issue in the instant action, ‘Loisaidas,’is an established demonym for residents of a particular Manhattan neighborhood. Plaintiff’s music duo is from that neighborhood, ‘hence the name,’” she wrote, according to the New York Daily News.
“Plaintiff is entitled to protect his duo’s trademark, but not by staking his claim to a pre-existing term and then attempting to remove all expressive, non-explicitly-misleading uses from public circulation.”
Medina's attorney, John Bostany, told the newspaper that he's confused by the judge's decision.
“My client believes that as a result of this decision there are now two ‘Loisaidas’ groups - the plaintiff’s bachata group and Kanye’s gangsta rap group,” he said.
“It’s very damaging because the public will obviously acquaint the trademark they’ve built up for beautiful, romantic bachata music with this highly publicized gangsta rap group that was made more popular by the powerful music mogul Kanye West.”
West and Dash's attorney had no comment on the matter.