The designer formerly known as Joseph Abboud – how he lost his name

American fashion designer Joseph Abboud has been barred from using his own name in relation to his new menswear range.

Abboud sold his brand for $65.5 million in 2000. The sale include the Joseph Abboud trade mark and the rights to his name, and Abboud remained as a consultant.

But he fought with the CEO Marty Staff, and after a 2 year contractual restriction, decided to start up a new label called jaz, using the tagline “a new composition by designer Joseph Abboud”.

The company attempted to get a court order, alleging that use of his name was a trade mark infringement.

The judge ruled in favour of the company, ordering Abboud to stop using his name.

The moral of the story? You can sell your name for millions, as Abboud did, but when it’s sold, that’s it.

Moral #2 – be careful when you’re choosing the name of your brand. If you use your own name – like Jil Sander and Helmut Lang (both of whom have sold their labels and own names) – it can bind you later on.

Note: Thanks to Milo for pointing out an error in the post.


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