Battle for the Diamond: Surf Brand Volcom Sues Jay-Z Over Trademark Infringement

Categories: WTF, music news
Jay-Z-Diamond.jpg
Jay-Z may need to find a new shape.
​De Beers lied to us. A diamond is not forever. Jay-Z has been throwing around that diamond hand signal for a few years now and using it as the logo for his music company, but a Costa Mesa surf brand is taking legal action to get its diamond back.

Volcom is suing Jay-Z and his music distribution label, Roc Nation, for trademark infringement in a California Central District court. The surf-inspired clothing brand claims the Roc Nation diamond logo, which began appearing in 2009, is too similar to its "Volcom Stone" diamond logo, which it's had since 1991--a logo it claims to have pushed by spending more than $100 million on marketing.

Despite Volcom's repeated cease-and-desist requests directed to the hip-hop mogul and his company, the dual diamond logos remain, according to Volcom.

The Roc Nation (left) and Volcom logos are pretty close...
​While Roc Nation products initially appeared with the Roc Nation title, the company began isolating the logo on its products, which Volcom claims created confusion. Though Volcom primarily appeared in the surf, skate and snowboarding industries, it branched out into music and entertainment with its Volcom Entertainment division, creating widespread logo recognition.

If you're interested in the specifics, you can purchase and read through the court documents.

If the court finds against Jay-Z, it may be the last indication that it's time to find a new shape--and to do proper research to ensure it's actually available. In 2005, Jay-Z was sued over his use of the diamond hand signal, which former pro wrester Diamond Dallas Page claimed to have trademarked in the '90s (yes, apparently hand signals can be trademarked). Jay-Z settled out of court.

The Volcom lawsuit does not specify damages, but it does request that all Roc Nation products using the logo be destroyed and the company stop using the logo.

Let's not feel too bad for Jay-Z. The man does pretty well for himself and his family. Maybe he likes ripping off trademarked logos? Gives him a thrill or makes him feel like an outlaw or something?

In that case, any alternative logo ideas for Jay-Z and Roc Nation to borrow? Maybe the Star Trek peace-sign-looking hand gesture or the Boy Scouts' three-finger hand signal?
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