Rapper Can't Use "Rolls Royce" Name Or Images

Rolls-Royce Motor Cards v. Davis, No. 15-0417 (D.N.J. Mar. 11, 2016).

On an unopposed motion for default judgment, the Court entered a permanant injunction restraining the defendant rapper from using the name "Rolls Royce Rizzy" and using Rolls Royce imagery.  Plaintiff brought claims for trademark infringement, unfair competition, false designation of origin, and trademark dilution under the Lanham Act, and was awarded default judgment on those claims.  However, Plaintiff was not awarded default judgment on its claim for unfair competition under New Jersey common law.

Black Keys Sue For Unauthorized Use Of "Howlin'" In Casino Ads

Carney et al. v. Chesky Records, Inc., No. 13-cv-0405 (S.D.N.Y. filed Jan. 17, 2013) (Batts, J.)

The Black Keys sued in New York federal court  "to put an immediate stop to, and to obtain redress for, Defendant's blatant and purposeful infringement of the copyright in Plaintiffs' musical composition entitled 'Howlin' For You'."  (Complaint, para. 1).  Defendants allegedly created and publicized commercial advertisements for casinos which prominently feature significant portions of the composition without authorization.  Plaintiffs' claims are for copyright infringement, false designation of origin (under section 43(a) of the Lanham Act), and common law unfair competition.
McClain (Executors of Estate of Michael J. Jackson) v. Mann, No. 2:11-cv-00584 (C.D. Cal. filed Aug. 10, 2012) [Doc. 132].


Plaintiffs allege that Defendants are commercially exploiting without authorization intellectual property created by the late Michael Jackson (“Jackson”) and now owned by Plaintiffs.  Defendants argue, to the contrary, that they obtained the rights to use this intellectual property at a bankruptcy sale involving members of Jackson’s family. Defendants also argue that some of Plaintiffs’ claims are barred by res judicata, and that Plaintiffs have not met their summary judgment burden on other claims.


The court finds that none of these rights were transferred through the bankruptcy sale.  "[N]one of the facts surrounding the sale of Debtors’ personal property from a storage facility indicate a transfer of any intellectual property rights".


The court grants summary judgment to Plaintiffs as to each of Defendants’ affirmative defenses. The court also grants summary judgment to Plaintiffs on their claims for: 1) copyright infringement as to the “This Is It” key art, “Destiny” song, and “Thriller” material; 2) false designation of origin for Defendants’ use of Jackson’s likeness performing the “Smooth Criminal Lean”; 3) misappropriation of likeness for Defendants’ exploitation of this and other images of Jackson; 4) unfair competition based on this alleged unauthorized use; 5) cybersquatting and cyber piracy for Defendants’ exploitation of Jackson’s name in their domain names;
6) an accounting to reveal Defendants’ profits from the unauthorized use; 7) a permanent injunction against the unauthorized use; and 8) declaratory relief as to ownership of the intellectual property at issue.