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Jay Z resolves years of controversy with Iconix over Roc Nation

11.14.2019     /     News author: Alexandra

Jay Z resolves years of controversy with Iconix over Roc Nation
© Instagram / Jay Z
Rapper Jay Z resolved a dispute with Iconix Brand Group Inc. resulting from the acquisition of its Rocawear clothing business over a decade ago.

Iconix, based in New York, said in a regulatory presentation on Wednesday that it had sold certain intellectual property assets to hip-hop mogul Roc Nation LLC and membership interests in his Marcy Media LLC to another entity for $ 15 million as part of the agreement, which resolves two lawsuits and an arbitration procedure. Alex Spiro, Jay Z's lawyer, declined to comment.

Iconix, whose brands include Candie’s and Joe Boxer, paid about $ 204 million in 2007 to acquire Rocawear. Since then, it has canceled almost all of the investment, and the two sides have been fighting for years. Iconix sued Jay Z in 2017 for a series of baseball caps that the company allegedly infringes its registered trademarks of Roc Nation, a high-end brand of Rocawear, whose rights it bought in 2013. The rapper responded with a lawsuit in which He claims to have been the victim of a "massive fraud for years."

The parties agreed to submit any dispute to arbitration as part of a 2015 agreement, and the company initiated a procedure in October 2018 regarding the trademark dispute. Jay Z sued in November 2018 to stop those procedures because there were not enough African Americans approved to hear his case, but then he agreed after the arbitrators agreed to allow the case to be heard by a larger panel that included black candidates.

In the middle of the litigation, Jay-Z was forced to testify in an investigation into Iconix of the US Securities and Exchange Commission. (SEC), which Rocawear valued at US $ 169 million in March 2016 and another US $ 34 million in 2018. The company presented its financial results again in November 2015, with changes on how it classified some expenses and recognized revenue related to license agreements. Jay-Z's lawyers complained that the SEC, in seeking the rapper's testimony, was participating in a "celebrity hunt."

Iconix shares fell 33 cents, or 15%, to US $ 1.81 on Thursday in New York. The company reported Tuesday night that third-quarter revenue fell US $ 35.5 million, or 23%, from the previous year, below the US $ 36.6 million expected by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

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