Producer-turned-recording executive Jermaine Dupri has launched legal battle against a nightclub and a promoter in his hometown of Atlanta over the unauthorized use of his name, court documents show.
The multi-platinum Grammy Award winner filed suit on Tuesday (December 9) against popular nightclub Pure Atlanta and one of the individuals behind the clubs weekly Industry Thursdays event.
Two days prior to the November 20 installment of Industry Thursdays, JDs manager Nick Leo received a request from the defendants Elite Entertainment Group, LLC and its registered agent Binyam Yayine asking that the entertainer make an appearance at the club on that particular night.
Leo declined, explaining that JD would be out of the country, the lawsuit alleges.
Despite that information, Pure Atlanta proceeded to promote an “All Black Affair” to be hosted by Jermaine Dupri on November 20.
The event was advertised through the use of physically distributed flyers and various internet postings and radio ads using Dupris name and likeness, which his lawyers contend was done “to attract attendance and, on information and belief, paid sponsor or sponsors beneficial to Defendants.”
The lawsuit goes on to say that upon becoming aware of these promotional efforts, JDs manager contacted the defendants asking that they immediately cease using his name and image in connection with the event.
The event took place without incident on November 20, with the club continuing to promote the event as “hosted by Jermaine Dupri.”
Attorneys for Dupri maintain that through their actions the defendants were in violation of the performers right of publicity, unfair competition, false advertising and unfair and deceptive trade practices under the federal Lanham Trademark Act.
They are also accused of violating the Georgia Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act and Georgia common law.
As a result, Dupri is seeking a permanent injunction preventing the misappropriation of his name, image and likeness by Elite Entertainments directors, officers, agents, servants, employees and all those acting in concert with the company.
He has also asked the court to render a judgment against the defendants for “all profits received from their unauthorized us of Dupris name and image, including false designations of origin and false descriptions and representations of endorsement, approval, and/or sponsorship by Dupri.”
He is also seeking punitive damages for each of the five perceived violations, though a specific dollar amount was not requested.
The Island Records Urban president is also asking that his legal fees in this matter be reimbursed.
The attorneys have asked that this matter be decided by a jury in Fulton County, Georgia.