Kanye West’s lawsuit against a burger joint in Australia has been dismissed in the Federal Court.
The rapper filed the lawsuit last October, alleging that Victoria College Dropout Burgers and its owner Mark Elkhouri were using the name of his 2004 debut album, “The College Dropout,” without his permission.
West also alleged that the mark was misleading behavior, and that the bar was trying to profit from the false association with the star and her mark.
As reported by the Herald Sun, Ye’s case is today (March 3) at the Federal Court of Australia in Melbourne. Elkhouri’s lawyers told the court that West had repeatedly failed to respond to them and had “no interest in this event”.
Attorney Craig Smith sought dismissal of the lawsuit on three grounds related to failure to comply with court procedures.
Judge Shaun McElwaine sided with Smith, saying West “went into the proceedings with all guns blazing” so that “no step would be taken later”.
The court learned that the “Donda” artiste’s initial legal team had withdrawn from the case. Neither the plaintiff nor his new US-based attorney was present in court today, according to ABC.
One of the issues involved was the payment of bail that the Elkhouri team requested from the West as part of the proceedings. However, Smith claimed that they had not yet received a formal response.
Judge Shaun McElwaine called the rapper “very unsatisfactory conduct”. It later concluded that the plaintiff and his lawyers had failed to “regard the general practices and procedures of this court” and dismissed the case.
McElwaine ordered West’s team to pay court costs. Elkhouri said it was “important” to proceed with this matter, but his lawyers admitted it could be difficult, since the star’s representatives are based abroad.
Elkhouri wore an “I’m not Kanye West” T-shirt to court. Speaking to the press, he said he was “very relieved” that the case was over, but had followed up on Ye’s earlier matter.
“There were very hard moments in my life [West] he helped me get through, whether his previous albums and the kind of message,” Elkhouri explained.
Referring to West’s recent controversial behavior, however, he said, “Sir, I don’t know who he is. I don’t support him.”
Elkhouri was asked if he intended to keep the restaurant’s name: “If I do, it will be on my terms,” he replied.
West’s lawsuit included a claim that Elkhouri had breached the Australian Consumer Law and was barred from representing College Dropout Burgers or their products as endorsed by the rapper.
It was reported last month that the lawsuit had been dropped after Ye became untraceable. On February 10, Elkhouri’s lawyers testified in court that West did not respond to any of their attempts to communicate about obtaining court costs before the case began.
The lawsuit alleges that his association with the restaurant would result in the loss and damage of West’s brand. “Ye has suffered, and will continue to suffer, loss and damage,” the document said. “Ye has sold more than 140 million records internationally and is one of the best-selling artists of all time.”
Elkhouri received the first cease and desist letter from West in February 2021, five months before the opening of the burger joint. After moving forward with plans for the restaurant — which features a logo based on the bear from the cover of “The College Dropout” — West issued a second cease-and-desist notice in June 2021.
In the second, West asked the owner to change the names of menu items such as his Golddigger burgers, Good Morning, Cheezus and Parties in LA, paint a mural of the star and get rid of his logo. Elkhouri announced that he would adhere to “removing all references to Ye” and said that the restaurant would “no longer claim that we are directly inspired by Ye or his music.”
Although the termination allowed Elkhouri to continue using the College Dropout name, West was dissing the restaurant’s name and the Dropout bear silhouette being used on the Internet.