Jun 13, 2024 2 min read

Drake sued over t-shirts referencing his track ‘Members Only’

Drake has been sued for trademark infringement by American clothing company Members Only. The musician has been selling t-shirts that feature the words Members Only on them. They are referencing a Drake track of that name, but the fashion firm says that consumers might think it is somehow involved

Drake sued over t-shirts referencing his track ‘Members Only’

Drake has been selling t-shirts on his most recent tour that feature the words ‘Members Only’ - that being the name of a track on his 2023 album ‘For All The Dogs’. Unfortunately, there’s already an American fashion brand called Members Only. And it sells lots of clothes featuring those words, and owns lots of Members Only trademarks, especially in clothing categories.

To that end, the current owner of the fashion brand, JR Apparel World, has sued the musician’s touring company Away From Home Touring Inc for trademark infringement. 

It says that the Drake t-shirts are “identical, overlapping and/or highly similar” to goods it sells “bearing its Members Only marks”, and will therefore confuse at least some consumers into thinking there is a connection between Drake and the clothing business.

It has to be said that Drake’s t-shirts are quite different to anything sold by JR Apparel. Clothing from Members Only generally has the brand name featured quite subtly in a simple font with the brand name written out in capital letters. The Drake t-shirts have Members Only written in large lower case text across the middle of the shirt in an ornate font. 

Aside from that, the Drake fans buying the t-shirts at his shows will surely know why they have the words Members Only printed on them, recognising that it’s name checking a recent track rather than suggesting any tie-up with the fashion brand. 

Whatever, that does not matter, claim JR Apparel’s lawyers. “The fact that ‘Members Only’ is a song on Drake’s album ‘For All the Dogs’ does not obviate the likelihood of confusion”, they write, and nor does it give the musician “licence to use our client’s ‘Members Only’ marks in such a confusing manner, particularly on or in connection with apparel items”. 

JR Apparel says it first tried to settle its dispute over the Drake t-shirts with the musician’s company in April but - as of 6 Jun - no settlement had been reached. That is why it is now suing seeking both damages and a court order stopping Drake from selling his Members Only shirts.

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