Jay Z, the NBA and developer Bruce Ratner are being sued in a $600 million lawsuit by a man over the naming of the Brooklyn Nets basketball team, according to radaronline.com.
Dr. Francois de Cassagnol says in his filing that he trademarked the name “Brooklyn Nets” more than a decade ago. He claims that Jay Z, the NBA and Ratner “fraudulently conspired” to use loopholes in the U.S. Patent Office so that they could use the name Brooklyn Nets.
Dr. de Cassagnol has be involved in a legal battle over the issue since the Nets announced in 2012 that they would be called the Brooklyn Nets once they moved to Brooklyn from New Jersey.
In September, Jay Z was set to sell his remaining ownership stake in the Brooklyn Nets to Jason Kidd, the team’s head coach and one of its former players. The Brooklyn rapper’s total stake in the team was reportedly $500,000 and represented one-sixth of 1 percent ownership of the team. The NBA must approve the proposed transaction between Jay Z and Kidd. Jay Z had already sold the other portion of his Nets ownership to an existing minority owner of the team.
Jay Z also owns the Roc Nation Sports agency, which may be why he’s selling his stake in the Nets. NBA rules do not allow players and-or agents to own part of a team. There is no rule against coaches owning a portion of a team.
Kidd played for the then-New Jersey Nets from 2001-2008 and won an NBA championship as a member of the 2011 Dallas Mavericks. Kidd also reportedly suggested that Jay Z buy into the Nets 10 years ago.