Jay-Z has scored a small victory in his lawsuit over the Roc Nation trademark after lawmakers granted his petition to halt the proceedings on racial discrimination grounds.
The 99 Problems hitmaker was sued by executives at Iconix Brand Group last year over his use of the logo of his Roc Nation entertainment firm on Major League Baseball (MLB) merchandise.
Iconix bosses bought the rights Jay’s Rocawear brand in 2007 and claim the rapper has infringed on their trademark as they alone own the rights to use the Roc Nation logo on sports apparel. Their lawyers submitted the dispute to the American Arbitration Association (AAA) last month, but the rapper filed a request for a temporary restraining order and to stay the proceedings because he claims any AAA panel will lack diversity.
According to The Wrap, his petition has been approved and the arbitration has been stalled for 90 days to give AAA officials time to find more African-American arbitrators.
The rapper, real name Shawn Carter, initially agreed to refer the case to the AAA, but he changed his mind after being confronted with the “stark reality” that there were no African-American arbitrators he and Iconix could choose to oversee the case.