Samuel Asghedom, the brother of Nipsey Hussle and administrator of the late rapper’s estate, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit Oct. 10 against Tia Hollis and the Crips LLC, the holding company of the Los Angeles street gang, in U.S. District Court in California.
According to the 20-page complaint, Asghedom, who also goes by Blacc Sam, is suing the Crips and Hollis, a managing member who owns a majority in the Crips, for trademark infringement, false advertising and unfair competition over their use of the catchphrase “The Marathon Continues.”
Asghedom says his brother started the Marathon Clothing line in 2011 based on his catchphrases “the marathon” and the “marathon continues” from his two mixtapes he released under All Money Inc. Nipsey subsequently trademarked the phrases for use on his clothing line. In 2012, he opened his Marathon Clothing store in the Crenshaw Plaza, selling T-shirts, sweaters, beanies, hats and sweatshirts, among other items. He also obtained trademarks for his catchphrases that he put on his clothing line. On March 31, 2019, Nipsey was fatally shot in front of the store.
According to the lawsuit, in 2019, the Crips filed an application for a trademark for use of the phrase “The Marathon Continues” on education manuals for community organization and gang prevention. After learning of the filing, Asghedom initiated a notice with the trademark office opposing the Crips’ use of the mark, but he alleges they have continued to use the phrase for commercial purposes.
He is asking the court to order the Crips and Hollis to destroy all unlawful products and to compensate Nipsey’s estate for any advertising and other expenses to dispel public confusion.