RZA felt the name of the service was too close for comfort.
Sometimes, companies or services can go a little overboard in crafting a name that plays on a well-known fragment from the pop culture lexicon. You risk not only getting sued, but also no small amount of public ridicule as a result of that lack of foresight. Case in point: the Woof-Tang Clan, a dog walking service that is now facing legal action from the Wu's leader, RZA.
The rapper and businessman has filed a lawsuit against the company, according to a report from The New York Post. Apparently, RZA felt that a trademark opposition suit was necessary at this point in time, claiming that both the name and logo of the service is "unmistakably associated" with the Wu-Tang Clan. He definitely has a point, but it's not just the Wu's work that can be seen as an influence basically everywhere on the Woof-Tang's site. They are selling merchandise that pays homage to classic album covers from Ol' Dirty Bastard's Return to the 36 Chambers album, as well as some De La Soul cover art. At last check, those items were no longer available on the service's website, but you can see a screenshot of the shirts in question below.
There's no telling what the outcome will be in this case, nor is there any indication as to how much in damages RZA will look to get from the service that was a little too blatant about where they got their inspiration from. “I am a fan,” said the company's owner Marty Cuatchon. “We walk dogs. I thought it was a good idea.” To be fair though, they aren't the first group of people to publicly use this exact riff on the rap group's name - there's supposedly an Alaskan sled dog team that also goes by the Woof-Tang Clan.
This beef pales in comparison to the one that RZA has been having with Azealia Banks, after the troubled female artist publicly took some shots at the Wu-Tang head honcho after they made a film together. "The derogatory posts against my client RZA by Azealia Banks is unwarranted and beyond that — unbecoming," his team previously said in a statement. "RZA, from the moment he met Ms. Banks, bet on her to win. So much so that when others felt she would be too much trouble to work with on the film Love Beats Rhyme, he disregarded what had been said and looked beyond her well-documented controversies moving forward with securing her as his lead."