Jay-Z has won a court judgment which will allow his lawyers to speak to Boston Rex Sox slugger David Ortiz under oath regarding their ongoing trademark lawsuit.
In April, Jay-Z sued Ortiz $5 million over his Dominican Republic-based 40/40 nightclub. The Brooklyn emcee also uses the name 40/40 for his own sports bar/lounge chain which has locations in New York, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Chicago, Tokyo and Macau. Both businesses are named after a baseball term that denotes a player achieving 40 steals and 40 home runs in a single season.
Ortiz’s has until August 10 to respond to the deposition. His lawyer Phillip Touitou believes Jay-Z’s fear of trademark confusion from Ortiz’s small, family owned nightclub is ridiculous.
“It’s a silly case. Jay-Z is claiming that his big business with multiple locations is somehow impacted by my client’s little club in the Dominican Republic,” he told the Boston Herald. “David is going to focus on doing what he does best, and that’s play baseball.”
Peter Raymond, lawyer for Jay-Z, counters that since both entities are businesses, carrying the same name presents a trademark conflict that dilutes his client’s unique brand.
“It’s not petty to my client,” he said. “That is a very valuable trademark. It is an exclusive club that makes money.”
If Ortiz’s deposition takes place, it will likely occur when his Boston Red Sox visit New York for a series against the Yankees from August 6-9.
At press time, David Ortiz is willing to change his club’s name if the both sides come to an agreement on court fees.