It’s not a good two weeks for Young Money/Cash Money superstars. Last week, Nicki Minaj‘s former wig designer filed a lawsuit against her for $30 million. Now, Drake‘s motion to dismiss a copyright infringement lawsuit for reproducing knockoffs of a jeweler’s almost $50,000 diamond-studded platinum chain has been denied.
The suit filed last fall by Baden Baden Inc. alleges that Drake knocked off Baden Baden CEO and jeweler Michael Raphael’s owl pendant chain design for Drake’s October’s Very Own (OVO) Merchandising. After photos of Drake’s friends Big Sean and Justin Bieber donning the chain started appearing on his Instagram feed, Raphael accused the singer/rapper of copyright infringement. Baden Baden Inc. presented screenshots of Drake’s Instagram account along with court documents.
Drake’s legal team asked the judge to dismiss the case this month because the symbol is not an original design, but in fact dates back to Egypt over 5,000 years ago. According to court documents, Drake argues that the owl figure is the Egyptian hieroglyph for the letter M and is not an original to be copyrighted. In fact, the symbol has been appeared on other items for sale by OVO Merchandising and low quality knockoffs can be found on eBay. However, the suit is specifically against the reproduction of the chains and not the symbol itself.
Last week, the judge heard oral arguments from both sides and denied a motion to throw out the case. Baden Baden can continue to pursue legal action. Raphael, who also served as the Drake’s fashion stylist, also filed a suit claiming he is owed $76,490 for unpaid expenses and for breach of contract. That suit is still outstanding.