LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A son of legendary Jamaican singer-songwriter Bob Marley was sued today by a former business partner who alleges his idea for the marketing of a brand of coffee was stolen.
Shane Whittle filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Rohan Marley and several entities created during the coffee venture. He alleges breach of contract, fraud, conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty.
A representative for Marley could not be immediately reached.
Whittle says he was induced to invest $600,000 in the project and is now owed his share of its profits.
According to the complaint, Whittle and Marley agreed in 2007 to pursue the plaintiff’s idea to develop a brand of coffee using the latter’s name and likeness. Whittle was a successful businessman who developed the idea for the Marley Coffee Venture, according to his court papers.
But after Marley Coffee became highly profitable, two of the companies being sued by Whittle, Fifty-Six Hope Road and Hope Road Merchandising, began asserting that they owned the rights to any variation of the Marley name, Whittle says.
“Rohan Marley was part of this scheme and conspiracy to wrongfully move and/or transfer Marley Coffee tradmarks, licenses, brand and/or intellectual property to Fifty-Six Hope Road,” the suit alleges.
Marley and the companies also entered into deals with Viva Beverages and other businesses licensing them to use the Marley Coffee name without Whittles’ consent, his complaint alleges.
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