Roc-A-Fella Wins $7 Million Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

By: Scarinci Hollenbeck

Recently, a federal district court dismissed a copyright infringement and breach of contract lawsuit against Roc-A-Fella co-founder Damon Dash. According to The Guardian, the $7 million lawsuit, which involved the Roc-A-Fella trademarked logo, was thrown out due to a lack of sufficient evidence.

roc-a-fella copyright infringement lawsuit

The lawsuit

The suit was brought forward by Dwayne Walker, a clothing designer based in New York, who claimed that he had created the signature “R” logo for Roc-A-Fella. Walker sued Jay-Z and Roc-A-Fella co-founder Damon Dash for royalty payments he claims to be owed from the licensing and branding of the logo, which has generated millions of dollars for the defendants. Walker’s claims were premised primarily upon the alleged existence of a contract between the parties that was executed in 1995. However, Walker could not produce the actual document.

The decision

Federal district court judge Andrew Carter dismissed the breach of contract claims, finding that  there was insufficient evidence to establish the existence of the 1995 contract. In his decision, the judge stated “[t]his leaves only [Walker’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. This testimony is not enough.” The judge also dismissed the copyright claim, finding that the statute of limitations barred such claim as Walker had allowed too much time to lapse before suing Dash and Jay-Z. Currently, Walker and his attorney plan to appeal the decision.

Do you have any questions? Would you like to discuss the matter further? If so, please contact me, Shane Birnbaum, at 201-806-3364.

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