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According to Reuters
Jay-Z on Wednesday sued to stop his private arbitration with Iconix Brand Group Inc, arguing that the company's inability to find an African-American referee who would hear a trademark dispute was unfair.
The multi-millionaire rapper in a Manhattan Supreme Court statement said that the lack of racial diversity among AAA judges is discriminatory under the New York State Constitution and the Human Rights Law in New York.
Iconix could not immediately get a reminder and the AAA spokesman refused to comment.
The dispute is the latest in a series of legal disputes that arose in 2007 by selling its Rocawear brand of Jay-Z at Iconix for approximately $ 204 million. Iconix has since depreciated almost the entire value of the brand, and in 2017 sued Jay-Z at the Manhattan federal court for trademarks. This case remains pending.
In 2015, Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, and Iconix resolved some disputes and agreed to resolve future claims in private arbitration proceedings, as proposed by Jay-Z.
Last month, Iconix accused Jay-Z of breaking the agreement in 2015 and demanded an AAA arbitration.
But Jay-Z said the AAA found only three potential African-American arbitrators, hundreds of them, and one already represented by Iconix in related disputes.
He argued that the lack of "more than a symbolic number of African-Americans" rendered the arbitration agreement void.
"It would be the reason that potential parties – who undoubtedly include minority owners and run businesses – expect that there is a possibility that the person standing both in the judges and in the jury reflects a diverse population," the petition said.
Jay-Z, 48, is known for songs including "Hard Knock Life", "99 Problems" and "Big Pimpin". "
Brooklyn native received 21 Grammy Awards, most recently in 2015 for Best R & B and Best R & B for Drunk in Love with his wife, Beyonce pop star.
In May, the federal judge ordered him to respond to the US Securities and Exchange Notice regarding Rocawear's sale.
The SEC said she was looking at Iconix and wanted to ask Jay-Z for his personal involvement with the brand. (Brendan Pierson's New York Review by Matthew Lewis)