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Jay-Z Wins Fight To Diversify ‘Too White’ Panel In Trademark Case

Jay-Z won his legal quest to diversify a “too white” arbitration panel, securing six black candidates to handle his trademark dispute.

The renowned rapper sued last year to stop the American Arbitration Association from resolving his dispute with the clothing company Iconix over trademark infringement claims related to his line of Roc Nation hats.

Jay-Z’s Manhattan Supreme Court suit claimed there was not a single black arbitrator on the national association’s “Large and Complex Cases” roster.

The group only has one Asian-American, one South Asian and one Latino representative, his suit charged.

The “99 Problems” singer and entrepreneur argued that minority business owners should be able to select from a group that “reflects the diverse population.”

Its lily-white membership deprived black litigants like Jay-Z of “the equal protection of the laws,” he said.

He’s now asking a judge to discontinue the case after the organization “offered the parties the option of working with AAA Senior Vice President Harold Coleman, who is African-American, in a mediation of their disagreement,” Jay-Z’s lawyer Alex Spiro says in new court papers.

The AAA later gave Jay-Z a choice of five more black arbitrators, Spiro says. The association has also promised to consider 11 black candidates presented by the rapper for its “Large and Complex Cases” roster.

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