Roc Nation Sued by Apparel Company

Roc Nation Sued by Apparel Company

Jay-Z's music label hit with lawsuit over diamond logo.

Published April 1, 2011

It doesn't look like this is Jay-Z's week. After becoming the subject of an NBA investigation for post-game partying with the Kentucky Wildcats yesterday, the superstar hip hop mogul has learned that his record label and management company, Roc Nation, was named in a new lawsuit.

California-based skate apparel company Volcom is suing Roc Nation for trademark infringement, claiming that the Nation's logo is too close to the one owned by, and historically associated with, the Volcom brand. Both logos are five-sided diamond silhouettes.

The diamond symbol is of particular significance to Jay-Z, and represents an allusion to the "Roc" in Roc Nation as well as Roc-a-Fella, the record label and clothing line, on which he built his name. Fans, of course, know the symbol well and frequently throw up its related hand sign at the rapper’s concerts.

Volcom, which owned the diamond trademark several years before Roc Nation's incorporation in 2008, overlooked its use when explicitly accompanying the words "Roc Nation." But now, as alleged in the lawsuit, the music imprint is attempting to brand itself using the symbol alone.

"While Roc Nation appears to have initially used the diamond only in combination with the words 'Roc Nation' it is now using the diamond logo on its own, causing a likelihood of confusion among consumers," Volcom alleges.

According to legal documents obtained by, Volcom previously warned Roc Nation about its use of the coveted diamond sign. Roc Nation has yet to comment on the suit.

(Photo:  Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images)

Written by Reggie Ugwu


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