Kanye West is in a legal tiff with Walmart after the retailer accused the rapper and designer of using a lookalike logo.
Back in January 2020, Yeezy LLC – West’s company – filed a design with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
The design, described in paperwork as ‘rays from a sun’, shows eight lines, each of three dots, which together forms a circle that looks like rays.
Walmart’s logo, meanwhile, consists of six yellow lines, which are made of solid lines rather than dots, which also form rays in the shape of a circle in a way that resembles the sun.
Kanye West is under fire after Walmart asked for his logo trademark application to be rejected, noting similarities between the Yeezy LLC logo and the long-time Walmart logo
Walmart’s logo (left) has been in use since 2007, while the Yeezy LLC logo (right) was applied for with the US Patent and Trademark Office in January 2020
Walmart filed their opposition to West’s logo on April 21, complaining that his logo could cause ‘confusion’ between the two entities.
They also want to avoid the suggestion of a potential connection between Yeezy LLC and Walmart.
Two days before Walmart lodged their opposition, they sent a letter to Yeezy lawyers about the matter, which hinted at previous attempts to settle.
‘As we referenced in our correspondence in July and August of 2020, January and February of 2021 and our telephone conference in March of 2021, Walmart has repeatedly sought to understand Yeezy’s planned use of the Yeezy Application, with the goal of finding ways in which the Walmart Spark Design and the Yeezy Application can co-exist with one another,’ the letter said, according to the New York Post.
‘However, to date, we have not received any conclusive information from Yeezy regarding the planned use or any cooperation from Yeezy in order to find common ground.’
Pictured: A pair of Kanye West prototype sneakers that sold for $1.8 million yesterday
Walmart also drew particular issue with the ways West plans on using the trademark, which includes for sneakers, T-shirts, underwear, musical sound recordings, streaming, furniture, modular homes, hotel services, and much more.
In their notice of opposition, Walmart cited their history of working with entertainers as a further problem with West.
Walmart has ‘done marketing campaigns in association with Jennifer Garner, the cast of Queer Eye, Drew Barrymore, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Ellen DeGeneres, and Sofia Vergara to name a few,’ they said in their opposition.
The retailer also noted that they began using their logo in 2007, 13 years before West’s logo was filed with the trademark office.
Walmart wants Yeezy LLC’s application to be blocked by the trademark office.
This is not the first time West has been involved in controversy regarding his designs. In 2018, he was accused of stealing a design for his clothing line.
After former Nike designer Tony Spackman alleged that the design West presented was 13 years old, West apologized and gave credit to Spackman.
According to Billboard, West also fired the designer who plagiarized the design from Spackman’s website.
This is not the first time West (left) has faced controversy in the design world
West is no stranger to filing trademarks for various logos, even filing one earlier this month for his Gap collection, though it has yet to be approved.
The rapper has had designs on the fashion world since the early stages of his musical career.
In 2009, he released the Air Yeezys with Nike, becoming the first non-athlete to have a shoe deal with the company.
That year, he also interned with Italian fashion brand Fendi.
West then began collaborating with Adidas on a shoe in 2013, which expanded into work on a clothing line by 2015.
The Yeezy brand pushed West over $1 billion net worth last April, securing him a spot on the Forbes billionaire list.
According to the real-time billionaire list from Forbes, West is worth $1.8 billion, ranking him among the 2000 most wealthy people in the world.
Bloomberg estimated Yeezy is worth somewhere between $3.2 and $4.7 billion by UBS Group AG, according to a private document reviewed by Bloomberg.
The difference, according to Forbes, is the current value versus the projected values going forward.
The UBS Group AG, for instance, predicts the brand will reach over $3 billion in sales by 2026, according to Forbes, which the publication said played into Bloomberg’s estimates.
Kanye West’s Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototype sneakers he wore at 2008 Grammys sell for record $1.8MILLION
A pair of prototype Nikes worn by Kanye West during his performances of ‘Hey Mama’ and ‘Stronger’ at the Grammy Awards in 2008 has shattered the record for a pair of sneakers ever sold.
Sotheby’s announced Monday that West’s so-called ‘Grammy Worn’ Nike Air Yeezy 1 fetched $1.8million in a private sale by RARES, a sneaker marketplace.
The sale marks the highest publicly recorded price for a sneaker sale and the first pair of sneakers to top $1 million. Sotheby’s brokered the private sale.
The size 12 shoes designed by West and Mark Smith are made of soft black leather with perforated detailing throughout the upper, and the heel overlay is branded with a tonal Swoosh.
Sotheby, which handled the sale, said West’s ‘Grammy Worn’ Nike Air Yeezy 1 was bought by RARES for $1.8million.
The design features the iconic Yeezy forefoot strap and signature `Y´ medallion lacelocks in bright pink.
The price is nearly triple the auction record for a sneaker set in 2020 at Christie´s for $615,000.
That was a pair of ´85 Jordan 1s that the basketball superstar wore when he famously shattered the backboard during a pre-season game in Italy.
-Christopher Eberhart and Associated Press