Rapper Rick Ross has finally ended a long-running legal battle over his name after an appeals court in California ruled in his favour.

The star, whose real name is William Leonard Roberts Ii, was sued by convicted drug kingpin 'Freeway' Ricky Ross, who claimed the rapper stole his name and exploited it for personal gain.

The $10 million (£6.7 million) lawsuit was dismissed in March (13), but the plaintiff refused to give up and took his case to the appeals court.

However, the appeal was turned down last week (ends29Dec13), according to The Hollywood Reporter, with Judge Roger Boren ruling in the rapper's favour.

The ruling states, "Roberts created a celebrity identity, using the name Rick Ross, of a cocaine kingpin turned rapper. He was not simply an impostor seeking to profit solely off the name and reputation of Rick Ross. Rather, he made music out of fictional tales of dealing drugs and other exploits - some of which related to plaintiff. Using the name and certain details of an infamous criminal's life as basic elements, he created original artistic works."

Ricky Ross spent 13 years behind bars for his part in a cocaine empire in the 1980s and 1990s. He was released from jail in 2009.