Patterson Belknap: 50 Cent IP Suit Burnishes ‘Gangsta Rapper’ Image
Lawyers for Taco Bell have filed an answer to an infringement lawsuit by 50 Cent that claims he is using the litigation “to burnish his gangsta rapper persona.”
The lawyers from Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler are fighting a suit by 50 Cent that claims the restaurant company infringed his trademark in a 99 cent ad campaign, the Am Law Daily reports. The suit cites a Taco Bell letter offering to donate $10,000 to a charity of the rapper’s choice if he would change his name to 79 Cent, 89 Cent or 99 Cent by rapping his order at a drive-through.
The rapper’s suit claims Taco Bell used his name without permission in its ad campaign when it sent the letter (PDF posted by the Am Law Daily) to the media, leading consumers to believe he had endorsed the products.
Patterson Belknap’s response says 50 Cent, aka Curtis Jackson, has described himself as a former drug dealer and hustler. “Jackson has used his colorful past to cultivate a public image of belligerence and arrogance and has a well-publicized track record of making threats, starting feuds and filing lawsuits,” says the response (PDF posted by the Am Law Daily).
“This lawsuit is another of Jackson’s attempts to burnish his gangsta rapper persona by distorting beyond all recognition a bona fide, good faith offer that Taco Bell made to Jackson.”