Hardcore Band SICK OF IT ALL Sues Hip-Hop Duo MOBB DEEP Over Dragon Logo

October 17, 2023

According to HipHopDX, veteran New York City hardcore punk band SICK OF IT ALL has filed a lawsuit against American hip-hop duo MOBB DEEP and clothing brand Supreme, alleging that MOBB DEEP members Havoc and the late Prodigy stole SICK OF IT ALL's dragon-shaped logo.

In the lawsuit, which was filed on October 11, Bush Baby Zamagate, Inc., the lawyers for the company that owns SICK OF IT ALL's intellectual property, say that they filed the claim because of "defendants' improper and illegal use of a nearly identical logo mark to plaintiff's inherently distinctive, incontestable, and famous logo. Defendants' adoption and use of their knockoff logo … is not just reckless and inexplicable — it is willful infringement and unfair competition."

The lawsuit states: "Plaintiff has used its logo since at least as early as 1987 in connection with musical recording goods, live musical performances, and related goods and services, including clothing goods such as shirts and hats. In June 2023, Supreme, a clothing and skateboarding lifestyle brand, as part of a collaboration with MOBB DEEP, began using its logo on clothing goods, including t-shirts and hats. The similarities between the two marks, particularly when used on clothing, have confused and are confusing the media and consumers and are causing damage to Plaintiff's senior mark and brand."

According to the lawsuit, this is not the first time that SICK OF IT ALL has objected to MOBB DEEP's use of a logo substantially identical to that of the hardcore band. "Twice, most recently in 2003, Plaintiff previously demanded that MOBB DEEP cease use of its infringing logo, and Mobb Deep and its affiliates complied," the complaint reads. "In addition, immediately prior to the institution of this lawsuit, Plaintiff demanded that Defendants cease use of their infringing logo and provide an accounting to Plaintiff of sales of the infringing goods. Defendants refused to comply with those demands."

In a 2011 interview with clothing brand Mishka NYC, Prodigy explained that he saw the logo on the wall of a tattoo parlor when he was a teenager and got it tattooed on his hand.

"Basically, when I was 14 or 15, there was this tattoo parlor in Elmart off Hemstead turnpike and I had walked in there to get my first tattoo," he said. "There was this dragon on the wall and I didn't know what it was, I just thought it looked ill, I was mad young and I had always wanted something on my hand. I prolly seen it on some of those L.A. gang movies like 'Colors'. I thought'd be cool, it'd look like some tough shit. So I told the dude put that on my hand. When me and Hav started MOBB DEEP, we turned it into the lil clique thing."

He added: "We wanted to turn it into the logo for MOBB DEEP, but then we got a cease-and-desist letter in the mail…. That was just some random shit! We didn't even know, we was just young kids."

Bush Baby Zamagate, Inc. is requesting compensatory damages and that the defendants be barred from "using the Infringing Mark or any other mark or marks confusingly similar thereto, alone or in combination with other words, names, styles, titles, designs or marks in connection with the provision of any goods and services."

Prodigy died in June 2017 while hospitalized in Las Vegas for complications caused by sickle cell anemia. The rapper passed away from an accidental choking incident, a clerical assistant at the Clark County agency, confirmed to USA Today.

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