Premonition or coincidence? Jay Z’s 2003 song “99 Problems” hit the nail right on the head for this singer’s situation. Former part owner of the Brooklyn Nets has been named in a $600 million lawsuit over the name of the franchise. Dr. Francois de Cassagnol has documents to prove that he trademarked the name “Brooklyn Nets” years before the franchise was moved out of New Jersey and into Brooklyn, NY’s Barclay Center. The NBA and developer Bruce Ratner are also included in the suit.
Cassagnol showed documents showing that the Brooklyn Nets name was first used in 2003 in Louisiana. He also states that, during a conversation with New Jersey Nets officials prior to the move, he was told that the team name would probably be New York Nets and not Brooklyn Nets.
Initial findings by the Patent Office were in favor of the NBA. The businesses for which Cassagnol used the name Brooklyn Nets were deemed insignificant in deciding to overrule the NBA’s use of the name under federal trademark. Cassagnol continues his quest for recovery, asking a court in New York to award him $600 million. Jay Z, who sold his shares in the team to Jason Kidd in 2013, remains a named participant in this new case.