Lessons from Ice Cube’s Lawsuit Against Stock Trading App in Right of Publicity/Trademark Infringement Case
The multi-talented Ice Cube famously said “It was a good day” in his hit song of the same name. But the hip-hop icon and his team probably weren’t having a good day when they saw a digital ad featuring an image of Ice Cube and an altered version one of his most famous lyrics—that he claims was posted without his knowledge or consent. On March 31, 2021, Ice Cube (also known as O’Shea Jackson, Sr.) filed a lawsuit against Robinhood Financial LLC, and Robinhood Markets, Inc., financial services providers, alleging Lanham Act violations as well as violations of California law, including misappropriation of likeness and unfair competition. He is just the latest celebrity to seek to protect his/her rights of publicity (giving a person commercial control of their name, image and likeness) through legal action. Based on outcomes of well-known cases filed by basketball legend Michael Jordan, film/TV actress Katherine Heigl, and beauty and style mogul Kim Kardashian West, Ice Cube would appear to be on well-trod legal ground in his court battle with the trading app.