It's Red Sox versus Yankees!
Well not technically. It's actually just Yankee's fan Jay Z versus Red Sox player David Ortiz.
On tax day, rap superstar and shrewd businessman Jay-Z sued Boston Red Sox baseball player David Ortiz for David Ortiz's use of the name "40/40 Clubs" in connection with a club that David Ortiz opened in the Dominican Republic.
Jay-Z, whose real name is Sean Carter, is suing Red Sox player David Ortiz for commercial misappropriation of the 40/40 name, which is the name of a sports bar owned by Jay-Z and his business partner, Juan Perez. The lawsuit was filed earlier last week in Mahattan Federal Court.
The rapper is not going easy on the Red Sox player David Ortiz. Jay-Z's lawsuit is asking for David Ortiz to pay up and to refrain from the use of the 40/40 name. The lawsuit seeks $5 million dollars in damages.
Jay-Z's lawyer claims that the copycatting was not inadvertent.
"David Ortiz was at the night club at least twice, and certainly knew of it," Jay-Z's lawyer said. The lawsuit even goes one step further, showing photographs of David Ortiz partying at 40/40.
Baseball fans know the term 40/40 to mean to forty home runs and 40 stolen bases. But at the risk of offending David Ortiz's fans, let's be real. Red Sox player David Ortiz is not part of the 40/40 club. He's only stolen 10 bases throughout his baseball career.
So why choose the name, then?
Perhaps because of the commercial qualities attached to the name, including brand recognition. According to Reuters, the lawsuit accuses David Ortiz of appropriating the goodwill and reputation associated with Jay-Z's club, causing "marketplace confusion and damage".
And while the lawsuit is largely an intellectual property one, New York law does recognize torts for commercial misappropriation.
So, Jay-Z better hope that the judge has an "Umpire state of mind." Okay, perhaps that pun didn't work, but nevertheless, New York injury lawyers will be anxious to hear how this case settles.