Recently, the companies operating the car company ROLLS-ROYCE obtained a default judgment against rapper Robert D. Davis a/k/a Rolls Royce Rizzy. The Plaintiffs brought a lawsuit against the Defendant for trademark dilution, trademark infringement and unfair competition/false designation of origin under the Federal Lanham Act and for claims under New Jersey statutory and common law. The dispute arose out of Defendant’s use of the name “Rolls Royce Rizzy” in connection with his performance and sale of rap music, including promotion of his music on YouTube and through the sale of shirts that contain the words “Team Rolls Royce.” The Plaintiffs contended that such acts infringed upon their trademark rights in the terms ROLLS-ROYCE and that even after being put on notice of their claims, the Defendant refused to stop. Further, even after the lawsuit was filed, Defendant continued to use the stage name “Rolls Royce Rizzy” and posted references to the lawsuit on his Instagram account.
The Defendant failed to defend himself in the lawsuit and a default judgment as to Plaintiffs’ claims for trademark dilution was entered against him as a result. A permanent injunction was also entered against Defendant preventing him from further using Plaintiffs’ ROLLS-ROYCE trademark. The Court refused to enter a default judgment as to Plaintiffs’ claims for trademark infringement, unfair competition and false designation of origin, citing a lack of likelihood of consumer confusion.
As evidenced by this case it is important to obtain legal representation if you are presented with defending a lawsuit. If a Defendant refuses to obtain counsel, a default judgment may be entered. Generally, if a default is entered against a Defendant, the Defendant is deemed to have admitted to all factual allegations of the lawsuit, with the exception of those relating to damages.
Please contact our office if you have any questions regarding the information in this article.
Daniel Devine, Esq.
Santucci Priore, P.L.