Last year, Rick Ross was forced to settle a trademark infringement lawsuit with former drug boss Ricky “Freeway” Ross, who claimed that the Miami rapper lifted his name. Now, the Maybach Music Group CEO is at the center of another trademark suit over the title of his popular 2010 album Teflon Don.
In a lawsuit filed on August 30, rapper Teflon Don (born Donald Askey Jr.) alleges that Ross, along with DJ Khaled, Universal Music Group, Slip-N-Slide Records, Def Jam Recordings and Maybach Music Group are all guilty of “trademark infringement, common-law trademark rights, trademark delusion, unfair competition, tortious interference and fraud and identity theft,” for illegally using his name. Askey Jr. claims that back in 2007, before the release of Ross’ Teflon Don album, he was involved in projects with DJ Khaled who specifically called him out by name on the track “I Represent,” (Coast 2 Coast Mixtape Vol. 10) saying, “To my homie Teflon Don, we the best…”
He says that the content of Rick Ross’ music has hindered his potential success because it has sent mixed messages to his fan base. “It is almost belittling to me because the music he [Rick Ross] puts out is almost demeaning and the music that I put out is more positive,” Askey said. “We have two different crowds and it is making me lose clientele based on the fact that they think that I am a negative rapper.”
“I’m building a name, I’m building a brand and for someone to come with an album and an alias the name Teflon Don and they have big budgets to put behind it, it blocks me from progressing,” he added. “I was climbing the ladder and it feels like I went straight downhill and I don’t feel like that’s fair.”