Toronto

Drake made '6ix' a thing in Toronto, but he just lost his bid to trademark it

Drake doesn't own the 6ix — at least, he doesn’t own that trademark after a decision from the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO).

The rapper may have a key to the city, but a local DJ was the 1st to use 6ix handle

Sure, Drake can sell out the Scotiabank Arena. But after a ruling from the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, a different Toronto DJ has exclusive rights to perform under the name '6ix.' (Getty Images)

Drake doesn't own the 6ix — at least, he doesn't own that trademark after a decision from the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO).

The 6ix is, of course, one of the star rapper's favourite nicknames for Toronto, and his company, October's Very Own, applied for the trademark in the late summer of 2015.

But, the CIPO found 6ix actually belongs to Michael Di Cosmo, a local electronic dance music DJ and producer, who applied for the trademark way back in 2000. Drake was a teenager at the time.

"While my client wasn't using the mark on the same scale as Drake or in the same context, this matter highlights that trademark rights are based on first use rather than how famous you are," Di Cosmo's lawyer, John Simpson, said during the trademark battle.

Drake's legal team argued Di Cosmo hadn't been using the trademark, but the CIPO found that argument "insufficient" in its decision.

The final CIPO decision means Di Cosmo has the exclusive Canadian rights to advertise his DJ services using the name 6ix (once he finalizes his $200 purchase of the trademark.) Simpson said Di Cosmo could also sell those rights, 

However, Drake's company and others will still be allowed to use the 6ix on everything from t-shirts to hoodies to hats.

Simpson, speaking with CBC Toronto after the decision, also admits "it could be a challenge to tell Drake what he can and can't do."

This isn't the first trademark fight that's erupted over a Toronto nickname. Last year CBC Toronto reported on a battle between two local breweries over the use of YYZ on their labels. 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.