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Nipsey Hussle estate and Crips settle trademark dispute

By | Published on Friday 26 March 2021

Nipsey Hussle

The Nipsey Hussle estate has settled a trademark dispute with The Crips over the phrase “The Marathon Continues”.

According to TMZ, paperwork was filed with the court overseeing the case this week confirming that a settlement had been reached. However, the filing apparently also said that some terms were still to be agreed and that a full document outlining the final agreement would be submitted in the coming weeks.

“The Marathon Continues” was a phrase closely associated with Nipsey Hussle, particularly a 2011 mixtape with that title. However, despite owning a number of marathon-related trademarks, the rapper never took legal ownership of that one in particular. Less than two months after being shot outside his The Marathon Clothing store in LA in 2019, Crips LLC – the holding company for the LA street gang, registered in 2018 in an effort to “shine up a sullied reputation” – applied to register it.

In its filing, Crips LLC said that it planned to use the name for community projects, in particular continuing initiatives to prevent street violence started by Hussle himself while he was alive. According to Black Enterprise, the corporate entity planned to use the name for “gang prevention, community building, and creating youth sports programmes”. It also referred to a documentary using the title.

However, Hussle’s brother Samiel ‘Blacc Sam’ Asghedom had also filed a trademark application on behalf of the rapper’s estate for the same phrase, for “entertainment services, music, and charitable activities”. Initially, the Crips appeared to back down, telling The Blast that there would be “absolutely no trademark legal battle” and that they realised their “actions may have been offensive”.

A year later though, the Crips defended their trademark application, claiming that “The Marathon Continues” was a phrase long associated with the organisation “as our ideology slogan”. Hussle became a member of a Crips-associated gang as a teenager and then popularised the phrase, but never owned it, they claimed.

It was at this point that the Nipsey Hussle estate went legal, demanding monetary damages and that Crips LLC destroy any merchandise it had made with the phrase on it.

Exactly what has now been agreed and who will take ownership of the trademark remains to be seen.