A Georgia-based apparel company has accused Jay-Z and Iconix Brand Group Inc. of trademark infringement over the use of the phrase “I will not lose.”
This story first appeared in the September 30, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
According to documents filed in federal court in Atlanta last week, I Will Not Lose LLC has created apparel under that name since 2004. In its complaint, the company takes issue with the use of the tag line in an advertising campaign for the Iconix-owned and Jay-Z-founded Rocawear apparel brand. As part of the campaign, Rocawear registered the Web site domain iwillnotlose.org, launched a channel bearing the name on YouTube and made the phrase a prominent part of its print ads.
According to I Will Not Lose LLC, the fame and reach of the rapper and Iconix have led consumers to states of “reverse confusion” resulting in the belief its goods are Rocawear knockoffs.
I Will Not Lose LLC registered its namesake as a trademark in 2006. Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, declared the phrase to close the song “Change the Game” on his 2000 album, “The Dynasty: Roc La Familia.”
I Will Not Lose LLC is seeking an injunction against the further use of the phrase by Iconix, profits derived from actions found to be unlawful, legal fees and other, unspecified damages.
Iconix declined to comment.