LATE NWA MEMBER EAZY-E’S WIFE REACHES DEAL WITH SON OVER “STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON” AND OTHER RELATED TRADEMARK
Steven T. Lowe
Eazy-E’s wife, Tomica Woods-Wright, has reached a deal with Eazy-E’s son, Eric Darnel Wright, over the use of “Straight Outta Compton” and other phrases relating to rap group NWA.
On August 8, 2018, Eazy-E’s son agreed to stop using several marks owned by his stepmother to promote his company. These marks include “Compton Records,” “Ruthless” and “Ruthless Records”- the names of Eazy-E’s record labels. The complaint filed in a California federal court read, “Defendants’ use of plaintiff’s names and marks is likely to cause confusion with plaintiff’s use of its marks for similar services and goods and will dilute the distinctive quality of plaintiff’s marks.”
The lawsuit was filed in August 2017 when Tomica Woods-Wright accused Eric Darnel Wright and others of illegally using Ruthless Records’ name by forming a company with the same name. She also accused Eric Darnel Wright’s company of promoting themselves as being “[f]ounded by legendary gangsta rap artist Eazy-E,” and as being the “exclusive branding and marketing agency for NWA Entertainment.”
Eric Darnel Wright fired back in October 2017, arguing his stepmother had abandoned the rights to the marks “Ruthless Records” and “N.W.A.” since there have been multiple periods since 1995 where she conducted no business activity whatsoever.
The case is Compton Records Inc. v. White et al., case number 2:17-cv-06063, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
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