KANYE West may have to testify over legal claims he “stole” technology stemming from a lawsuit four months ago.
The rapper was slammed with a $20 million lawsuit in August by an IT company claiming his Yeezy brand “stole” vital technology, and now the company wants the rapper to take the stand.
Kanye is being accused of stealing technology from a firm he was working with[/caption]
In a complaint brought in California federal court, Pennsylvania-based MyChannel Inc claim to have spent six months, $7 million of its own funds, and over 10,000 employee hours working on integrating their video software into the rapper’s e-commerce business, such as his Sunday Service Shows, to make them more profitable.
The firm even moved to California on Kanye’s demand to be nearer his home in Calabasas, Los Angeles, before he allegedly walked away from the deal, according to court papers.
MyChannel claims the two parties signed non-disclosure agreements, yet a business contract was never signed, and now MyChannel are suing the rapper and Yeezy Apparel LLC.
New court docs, obtained by The Sun, state: “Defendant West ‘bear hugged’ Plaintiff, drawing its principals close. At the same time, West told his inner circle, corporate sponsors, brand collaborators like adidas and anyone else who would listen that he was in business with MyChannel to announce their venture to the world.
The star may now have to give a deposition and testify in court if the case survives Kanye’s motion to dismiss[/caption]
“But Defendant West, being, well, Defendant West, turned around and ended the business relationship in a huff, retained the benefits of all of Plaintiffs’ hard work for himself, and stole its MyChannel Video Platform technology to use in his e-commerce business without compensation.”
Lawyers for MyChannel told The Sun they now want to quiz Kanye under deposition and are hoping the case will go to a jury trial, where the star will have to testify in court.
The 43-year-old’s legal team have hit back at the allegations, claiming they are “over-zealous” and that they specifically went on a manhunt for the mega-star’s attention.
A motion to dismiss the case states: “The complaint is an overzealous effort to reap the rewards of a business arrangement that never came to fruition… [and] belies any suggestion that Plaintiff was some hapless victim needing enhanced legal protections…
“It was Plaintiff that strategically identified the Yeezy brand as a ‘good match’ and affirmatively sought out Mr. West ‘through mutual connections.’
Kanye, pictured with wife Kim Kardashian, is trying to have the lawsuit dismissed [/caption]
“Plaintiff was savvy enough to insist that Defendants sign their form NDA… under these circumstances, there is no plausible suggestion that Plaintiff suffered from [any] sort of ‘substantial vulnerability’.”
It goes onto say that the parties were only ever “engaged in arm’s length negotiations towards the sort of “mutually beneficial” arrangement.”
Kanye’s team want the case dismissed with prejudice, while MyChannel Inc have hit back at the motion.
Michael Popok, one of the attorneys for MyChannel, told The Sun: “On our side we know everything we need to know about Kanye and his erratic behavior but what they don’t know about my clients is they are the creme de la creme of the business community in Philadelphia and they are at the height of black business community in America.
“We weren’t surprised that we got a motion to dismiss but we’re very confident it’s not going to be successful. This has got to go to go to a jury.
Kanye’s lawyers do not want him to have to testify because of his erratic nature, lawyers for the other side said[/caption]
Kanye broke down in tears on stage during a rally for his presidential bid earlier this year [/caption]
“It’s obvious Kanye’s lawyers do not want him to give a deposition and
they will throw every roadblock in front of us to try to delay the inevitable, which is Kanye sitting in a chair under oath for seven or eight hours having to give testimony…
“Even his own lawyers won’t know which Kanye will show up on the day of the deposition or which Kanye will show up at the day of the jury trial and that uncertainty and erratic behavior is a concern for the other side.
“This case is going to turn on the credibility of Kanye and my clients, and my clients are very credible, I believe a jury would believe them, find them authentic and will find the facts to be in their favor.
“I think when the jury hears about all of the behavior that Kanye has exhibited in business and otherwise, and the hypocrisy of some of the positions that he’s taken in the media about wanting to empower and support black entrepreneurs, when privately he’s screwing them because that’s what he did to my guys, they will rule against him.”
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Lawyers for Kanye declined to comment.
The parties are due to attend a court hearing later this month.