We’ve read before that licensing deals can be insanely tempting propositions for fashion designers. Quick easy money, wider exposure, and so forth. It’s a little like any other creative industry, like a band signing a contract with a record label who will own their songs, or a film director who gets their big break but without final cut. Seems great to begin with, but doesn’t always work out as planned. Such is the case with fashion designer Joseph Abboud, who had been trying to win wider access to the use of his own name after having sold it to JA Apparel Corp. back in 2000 for more than $60 million. A court battle between the two parties has just come to a close, with the court ruling saying that Abboud can use his own name “only inside of a sentence in relatively fine print that’s paired with a disclaimer indicating he doesn’t own his trademark” according to the NY Post. Of course, this is only in regard to marketing things. It’s not like the guy has to write fine print every time he signs his name. But reading the press release put out by the winning side, JA Apparel, still comes across as exceptionally surreal. Here’s a quote by the company’s owner:
“This is a resounding win and we are extremely pleased. Mr. Joseph Abboud is permanently enjoined from using his name either personally, or through any entity with which he is affiliated, as a brand name for menswear or any other products. His name cannot be on clothes, labels, hang-tags or product packaging. We believe we have accomplished what we set out to do when we filed this lawsuit against Mr. Abboud, and that was to protect the valuable Joseph Abboud brand name for menswear and prevent confusion in the marketplace.
“We are thrilled with this result from the court. While Mr. Abboud is free to compete in the consumer marketplace, he simply must do so without in any way using JA Apparel’s valuable Joseph Abboud brand name. We are hopeful that this ruling ends this case and enables us to focus on continuing our successful efforts to build the Joseph Abboud global lifestyle brand in markets around the world.”