“Mastermind” The Rapper Said Ricky Rozay Stole His Name
An unknown rap artist named “Mastermind” said Rick Ross stole his trademarked moniker and has slapped the rapper with a $2 million lawsuit to get him to stop.
The independent hip-hop artist and producer, who was born Raul Caiz, sued Ross Nov. 18, along with Def Jam Records and Universal Music Group for trademark infringement, unjust enrichment and misappropriation over his claim that Ross coopted his rap name, Mastermind.
Caiz stated he records and performs under the name “Mastermind” which he said he trademarked. The artist explained he has used the trademark for over 17 years for his music career.
The musician claimed – under his trademarked rap name – he has had songs played on the radio, one of his tracks was featured in a movie, and released tracks and recorded his music using the name “Mastermind.”
He said around 2013 Rick Ross announced his sixth album would be entitled “Mastermind,” and shortly after the rapper began calling himself “Mastermind” in interviews, performances and other people started following suit and calling Ross by the new nickname.
Caiz said that by Rick Ross calling himself “Mastermind” it began to cause confusion in the marketplace.
The artist sent a cease and desist letter to Rick Ross in February 2015, demanding the rapper stop using his trademark without authorization. However, his lawyer never got a response from Ross’ team and continued infringing on the trademark by releasing his album and launching the “Mastermind” tour.
Caiz believes Ross’ infringement has ruined his trademark’s value, caused confusion in the Los Angeles hip-hop marketplace and accused the rapper of knowingly stealing his name.
The musician’s suit demands more than $2 million in damages, an injunction ordering Ross to cease using the mark “Mastermind” for any purpose and other damages for illegally using his trademark.