A California choose on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit introduced by rapper Ice Cube from buying and selling platform Robinhood proclaiming it utilized his picture to market its merchandise, with out his consent.
The rapper sued Robinhood in March, alleging that it was harming his status and violating trademark legislation by utilizing his picture and a get on his musical lyrics, and building it surface as if he endorsed the firm, without his consent, in its “Robinhood Snacks” publication.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler wrote in a dismissal buy that Ice Cube’s grievance “did not plausibly plead that Robinhood’s use of his id instructed his endorsement of Robinhood’s products.” But she ruled that Ice Dice could file an amended complaint in 21 times.
“This is a straightforward procedural motion and we’re confident our amended pleading will resolve any thoughts,” Sean Hardy, an legal professional for Ice Dice, informed Yahoo Finance, indicating that Robinhood must not assume the dismissal to finish the dispute.
Choose Beeler concluded that Ice Cube mistakenly characterized Robinhood’s publication as an advertisement, alternatively than a e-newsletter, and that courts have not traditionally identified newsletters — imagined to be less professional in nature — as a foundation to guidance the trademark declare.
“Robinhood applied Ice Cube’s picture and paraphrase of a line from his track to illustrate an article about market corrections,” the decide wrote. “That illustration does not recommend that the plaintiff endorsed Robinhood.” That would stay true, she reported, even if Robinhood utilizes superstar endorsements this kind of as these from Nas and Jay-Z to boost its genuine products.
However, she rejected Robinhood’s promises that Ice Cube fell short in developing himself as a celeb mainly because he relied on “old pursuits” designed in the 1980s and 1990s.
“But why would Robinhood use the impression and a paraphrase of the catchphrase if it did not capitalize on Ice Cube’s movie star standing?” the judge wrote in the purchase.
“We are delighted the court acknowledged that Robinhood Snacks article content are not ads and that the use of the motion picture impression did not amount to an endorsement. Robinhood Snacks has become a single of the most trustworthy and most read through resources of digestible economic information for Robinhood customers and thousands and thousands a lot more across the world. We hope the court’s ruling will set an stop to this matter,” Jacqueline Ortiz Ramsay, Robinhood’s Head of Community Policy Communications, instructed Yahoo Finance.
‘Check Yo Self’
In his lawsuit, Ice Cube complained that a March 8 publication posted to Robinhood’s “Robinhood Treats” web-site and the company’s cellular application, unlawfully utilised his impression and likeness, alongside with his signature capture phrase “Check Yo Self.” The artist, whose lawful title is O’Shea Jackson, Sr., mentioned the publication (mis)quoted the phrase which originated in lyrics from his hit one by the identical title, and established the phony impression that he endorses the business.
“In a cynical effort and hard work to appeal to a youthful demographic, Robinhood has engaged superstar endorsers such as Jay-Z, Nas, and Jared Leto to endorse its merchandise and companies,” the criticism argued. “However, in an act of unmitigated gall and clear retribution, Robinhood and its subsidiary have now utilized the image and likeness of Ice Dice – without his permission.”
Ice Cube’s allegations versus Robinhood also introduced claims beneath California’s Company and Professional Code, and its popular regulation governing rights of publicity.
Robinhood, which has just lately attracted thousands and thousands of customers, and strategies to go community in July, has arrive beneath growing authorized and regulatory tension primarily based on its position in processing then restricting trades in the course of the Reddit-fueled meme-inventory upheaval that involved GameStop (GME) and AMC Enjoyment (AMC).
Alexis Keenan is a lawful reporter for Yahoo Finance. Stick to Alexis on Twitter @alexiskweed.
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