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Eminem Scores Huge Legal Win In 'RHOP' Stars Trademark Dispute

Home / Entertainment / Eminem Scores Huge Legal Win In 'RHOP' Stars Trademark Dispute

By Afouda Bamidele on July 10, 2024 at 2:45 PM EDT

In a surprising twist to the ongoing legal battle between Eminem and the "Real Housewives of Potomac" stars Gizelle Bryant and Robyn Dixon, the rapper has scored a significant victory, avoiding a potentially messy deposition.

This triumph follows months of legal wrangling, including a protective order filed by the rap artist last December amidst the Shady's trademark case.

The recent court ruling represents a major milestone for Eminem and probably a double reason to celebrate as fans anticipate the release of his latest album, "The Death Of Slim Shady."

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Eminem Secures Legal Victory As Board Denies Deposition Request In Trademark Battle

Eminem performing at Austin City Limits Music Festival 2014

The drama began when reality stars Gizelle Bryant and Robyn Dixon attempted to trademark the term "Reasonably Shady" for their merchandise line.

Eminem, however, argued that their use of "Shady" would infringe upon his own established brand, built over decades with trademarks like "Slim Shady," "Shady," and "Shady Limited."

While Bryant and Dixon denied any association with Eminem's brand, they pushed for a deposition with the rapper himself. 

But the rapper's legal team was not playing those games. They argued that his extensive cooperation, including handing over 2,500 pages of documents, was sufficient, per In Touch.

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The United States Patent and Trademark Office Board ultimately sided with Eminem. The need for Bryant and Dixon to gather information was acknowledged but it was also determined that deposing Eminem's manager, Paul Rosenberg, would be more productive.  

The board pointed out that "Mr. Rosenberg, not [Eminem], provided the declaration supporting the motion." This decision is a major win for Eminem. It protects his brand and avoids the potential for a public spectacle had he been forced to appear in person.  

While the case is ongoing, with the two women having 30 days to depose Rosenberg, Eminem has successfully defended his trademark turf for now.

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The Rapper Avoided Deposition Thanks to 'Limited Knowledge' Claim

Eminem's recent legal victory over the trademark dispute with "Real Housewives of Potomac" stars Gizelle Bryant and Robyn Dixon was not his only win.  

Before this win, Eminem argued that a personal appearance in court would be an "unduly burdensome" task. This justification stemmed from his supposed "limited knowledge of the subjects at issue."

The father-of-three presented a unique argument that although he holds the trademark registrations for "Shady," "Slim Shady," and "Shady Limited," he is not directly involved in the brand's day-to-day management.

The implication? As the listed owner and signatory of the SHADY trademark registrations under contention, Eminem presented three alternative candidates to the court who possess "superior knowledge to Mathers on the relevant topics."

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Among them, Eminem's manager, Paul Rosenberg, was highlighted as instrumental in the registration of the SHADY trademark involved in the case.

The rapper also named Eric Hahn, the Chief Marketing Officer of Universal Music Group subsidiary Fame House, and Stuart Parr, a longtime licensing handler for Eminem, suitable deponents in his place.

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Inside Eminem's Fights To Protect 'Shady' Trademarks 

In February last year, The Blast reported that the rapper filed an opposition to their trademark application, fearing it would damage his established brand. The court documents paint a clear picture of Eminem's concern. They stated:

"The marks Slim Shady and Shady have become and are an extremely valuable symbol of Mathers, his reputation, and goodwill." 

The crux of Eminem's argument lies in "confusion."  He worries that fans who associate him heavily with the word "Shady" might be misled into believing there is a connection between his brand and the reality stars' merchandise.  

Eminem's History Of Protecting His Music

Eminem is not just a rap legend, he is a fierce protector of his artistic property. Before his current legal drama, the star had previously taken legal action to halt the unauthorized use of his music in political campaigns.

In the notable incident dating back to August 2023, The Blast shared that then-presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy found himself on the wrong side of Eminem's wrath.  

Ramaswamy, a self-proclaimed fan, cited "Lose Yourself" as his walkout song and used it at campaign events. 

This celebratory act turned sour when Eminem's rights management company, BMI, sent the politician a cease and desist letter. The letter clearly outlined Eminem's objection to the unauthorized use of his music. It stated:

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"BMI will consider any performance of the Eminem Works by the Vivek 2024 campaign from this date forward to be a material breach of the Agreement for which BMI reserves all rights and remedies with respect thereto."

Slim Shady's Brief Fortnite Concert Leaves Fans Fuming

Fortnite's attempt to level up player engagement with a virtual Eminem concert backfired spectacularly. The highly anticipated live event, which took place in December, promised something new for players: a full-fledged Eminem show in avatar form. 

While the actor himself appeared as a virtual avatar, disappointment quickly set in. The Blast reported that fans felt shortchanged by Eminem's limited screen time, which was a meager four minutes and featured only two tracks, "Lose Yourself" and "Godzilla."

Taking to social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, fans vented their anger. One user wrote, "I bought the Eminem skin for no reason…. 10 hour wait time and missed the first live event now can even log into Fortnite for the one at 3… This is insane."

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Another frustrated player criticized Fortnite's handling of the event, highlighting issues with long queues and technical glitches.

"So, I waited 2 hours," another player recounted, "the game said unable to log in when I went to wait for the 5 pm event. Now I have another hour and a half queue…and I can't make the 11 pm event."

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