Los Angeles, CA – Trademark lawyers for rapper, actor, poet and musician Tupac Shakur’s estate filed a trademark infringement, Lanham Act unfair competition and a false advertising, and commercial appropriation of name and likeness lawsuit at the Federal District Court in Los Angeles. Although Tupac Shakur passed away over eleven years ago, he remains a popular hip-hop musician, artist, actor and poet. His intellectual property and publicity rights, according to Forbes magazine, ranked his estate’s earnings in the top nine for deceased celebrities. His estate licenses all of the intellectual property rights, “including rights to merchandise the trademarks and posthumous publicity rights” to the Plaintiff, Amaru-Awa Merchandising, Inc. Amaru owns a USPTO registered trademark for “Makaveli,” for use on recorded media and clothing.
Defendants own and operate a retail store named Rock Town, and a private investigator – acting on behalf of Plaintiffs – allegedly “purchased an unauthorized t-shirt bearing an image of Tupac Shakur and the trademark ‘Makaveli.'” Plaintiffs sent a cease and desist letter to the Defendants, to which there has been no response. Plaintiffs filed the instant lawsuit seeking monetary damages and injunctive relief. The case is titled Amaru Entertainment, Inc. v. Reza Falatoon, CV08-03317 DSF (C.D. Cal. 2008).