A colorful individual who calls himself Ambassador Dr. Francois De Cassagnol is suing Jay Z for over half a billion dollars because he says he owns the rights to the Brooklyn Nets’ name. The eccentric “behavioral scientist and designer” — who also claims ownership of “The Global Diaspora SuperPAC Fund” and something called “The Virtual Churches International” — has named Shawn Carter as a defendant in a $600 million trademark suit.
De Cassagnol filed his complaint on December 9 with the Eastern District of the State of New York, Radar reports. On his totally batshit website, he also petitions the Pope to pray against the “Brooklyn Nets’ Pirates” — according to official court documents, he believes the NBA, Jay Z, and real-estate developer Bruce Ratner (a co-owner) “fraudulently conspired” to circumvent the U.S. Patent Office. He says he registered “The Brooklyn Nets Entertainment Logo” in 2003.
Furthermore, the plaintiff claims he spoke with representative of the New Jersey Nets, before the team’s move in 2012, and obtained verbal confirmation that they would not use the term “Brooklyn Nets,” preferring instead “New York Nets.” But the Patent Office has already taken the side of the NBA, countering that de Cassagnol only filed paperwork after the team’s relocation was already a matter of public knowledge. Still, he wants the money, and a trial by jury.
Jay Z sold his percentage of the team to retired player Jason Kidd when he became a sports agent.
REPORT BY SPIN, WRITTEN BY CHRIS MARTINS