A top gaming company is suing Travis Scott — alleging that the rapper was all thumbs when it came to knocking off its joysticks.
Scott and his Cactus Jack label are being sued in federal court by KontrolFreek, which claims in court papers that when Scott performed a series of virtual concerts for 12 million fans via the video game Fortnight in April, that he and his team “were looking for an opportunity to offer Cactus Jack-branded gaming merchandise as part of a tie-in.”
KontrolFreek makes high-performance thumbsticks (translation for non-gamers: those joysticks you operate with your thumbs). The company contends in its lawsuit that Scott and Cactus Jack, “reproduced KontrolFreek’s copyright-protected” photos of its products and merely “modified” the images, even “superimposing the Cactus Jack logo/design over the top of the KontrolFreek thumbstick” to hawk them for the Fortnight concerts.
The gaming company — which has a community called FreekNation of over 4 million gamers — claims that Scott’s ads caused confusion that the rapper and KontrolFreek were working together. The company further claims in court docs that Scott and Cactus Jack had not yet manufactured the alleged knock-offs, but that after KontrolFreek contacted them about its concerns in May, “Defendants asked if KontrolFreek would be willing to manufacture the Cactus Jack Thumbsticks for Defendants, and at no cost.”
The parties did not speak again. But KontrolFreek claims that when fans later received the Cactus Jack-branded controllers, consumers complained online about “the poor quality.” One buyer apparently commented that the Cactus Jack thumbsticks “were not like ‘normal kontrol freeks’ [sic].”
KontrolFreek also claims in its suit that the packaging for Scott’s product was in copyright violation — including using the KontrolFreek slogan plus “identical bullet points” touting the thumbsticks’ merits.
KontrolFreek’s lawyers want Scott to fork over his profits, plus damages, and also want Scott to destroy the remaining stock.
The court papers, obtained by Page Six, were filed in the Atlanta division of the Northern District of Georgia.
Reps for Scott did not get back to us. KontrolFreek’s attorney did not comment.
Scott and Cactus Jack separately just launched a successful Travis Scott Meal at McDonald’s this month, plus a sweepstake for Scott merchandise.
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