Kanye West’s tee is a fashion don’t. Someone else owns ‘White Lives Matter’ trademark, but Kanye West has it
Kanye West’s “White Lives Matter” tee? He had trademarked it, and then he lost it.
It all goes back to the 2014 incident in a New Jersey park, when West held up a sign that read “Yeezy,” and then got into an altercation with two men who tried to take it down. During the altercation, West appeared to grab the sign’s owner’s wrist and then the two men’s wrists, with his own, and then used his hands to hit the other one in the face.
West won his suit against the two men, and is now suing the man he hit. But in a recent response to a notice of the lawsuit, the man claims he is actually the owner of the sign — which he purchased from West, according to TMZ, who broke the story.
In the suit, the man’s name is listed as Gary James, but in the response, he is identified as James William Johnson, of Philadelphia. West and his representatives have not yet filed a response to the suit.
Johnson claims in the suit that West also stole his trademark for a 2012 campaign he created on behalf of the Black Panthers, titled “White Lives Matter,” while he was in jail and serving a sentence of 18 to 24-months in federal prison for assaulting his girlfriend. West also allegedly made it seem like he owned the trademark, because he “sent the trademark to his personal email for approval” in 2014, according to the complaint.
Johnson’s lawsuit lists the amount of the damages he is seeking as over $500,000.
West’s “White Lives Matter” sign was on display at New Jersey’s Atlantic City casino, where he filmed the video that became the basis for the 2015 hit song “White People,” by Kanye West & The Yeezus.
“We have received a copy of the lawsuit, and we will be reviewing it,” the rapper’s representatives said in a statement to The Associated Press. “The lawsuit will be fully responded with our full, complete and unaltered discovery responses.”
West also released another song, titled “Black Skinhead,” in November 2013 in response to the riots in Baltimore after the killing of Freddie Gray. The song,