A Bronx entrepreneur is calling foul on the Brooklyn Nets, charging he owns the trademark rights to the team’s name.
Dr. François De Cassagnol, 66, contends he trademarked the name 10 years ago for his commercial art business while he was living in Louisiana.
“I used my domains for my works,” De Cassagnol told The News, but he refused to elaborate.
The art seller filed the federal complaint by himself in the Brooklyn Federal Court in December, charging that he’s owed at least $600 million in damages.
In the suit, he claims he had conversations with team officials who promised him they wouldn’t use the name “Brooklyn Nets” upon moving to their new home by Atlantic Ave. two years ago.
Developer Bruce Ratner and former minority owner Jay Z “fraudulently conspired” with the NBA by constructing legal “loopholes” in court in order to use the name, De Cassagnol alleges in the complaint. He does not name Mikhail Prokhorov, the team’s Russian owner, in the complaint.
The rap star sold his small share of the team to coach Jason Kidd last year, after he started his own sports management firm.
As for the suit, legal experts say that De Cassagnol has a better chance of hitting a full-court shot.
“This is ridiculous,” said Domenic Romano, an entertainment lawyer who is familiar with trademark law.
“Without having read the complaint, the best he could possibly do, if he has a valid Louisiana registration trademark, is keep the Nets out of Louisiana.”
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