Jay Z’s Rocawear sued for Trademark Infringement over Hoodlove T-shirt

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Jay Z Hoodlove

Jay Z alongside his company’s Hoodlove shirt (images courtesy of

It seems like a new low to take the intellectual property of a non-profit group to make a buck, but that’s what Jay Z’s company ROC Apparel is accused of in a new Trademark Infringement case.  According to TMZ, ” Hoodlove, LLC — a for-profit company dedicated to improving poverty stricken communities — filed the lawsuit against ROC Apparel Group earlier this month … over one specific shirt in the Rocawear line, which reads HoodLove in giant letters.” 

Hoodlove Tee

The Original Hoodlove T-Shirt (with TM apparent alongside the logo)

Hoodlove says it has owned the trademark since 2006 — and claims Jay’s company came along and started using the name, without their consent or a licensing agreement.  According court documents filed by Hoodlove, “unauthorized use of the Infringing Apparel is likely to cause confusion” and “deceive customers” into “mistakenly” believing Rocawear’s and Hoodlove’s goods are “affiliated.”    I hope Jay Z’s company does the right thing and compensates Hoodlove for the use of their trademark.   I’ll never understand why big companies rip off smaller companies, or just ignore their trademark rights.   Earlier this year, I wrote about how the Kardashians used the name Khroma for their make-up collection, ignoring the fact that Kroma was already a registered trademark of another party.    Eventually, the Kardashians were forced to rebrand their make-up line  (naming it, wait for it–Kardashian Beauty) to resolve the trademark infringement claims.

Seriously, as a small business and a trademark owner myself, I empathize with the little guys who follow the legal process, register their intellectual property, or just put a TM after the name they are using (signifying the intent to trademark, and then get ripped off by larger companies.  Here’s hoping Jay Z does the right thing, until then, I hope the Rocawear Hoodlove shirts are outsold by  Hoodlove, LLC .


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.