Last month, comedian Joe Lycett legally changed his name to Hugo Boss, in a protest against the fashion house for allegedly targeting small businesses and charities who use the word “boss” in their names.
The comedian made the announcement on Twitter after calling out the luxury company for costing small businesses, including Swansea brewery company Boss Brewing, “thousands in legal fees and rebranding”.
The name change and accompanying publicity stunt outside Hugo Boss in London’s Oxford Street, has finally been detailed in the latest episode of his Channel 4 show, Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back, in which he “fights for the rights of the Great British consumer”.
Boss, formally Lycett, came to the defence of small business Boss Brewing company, after they were forced to to shell out nearly £10,000 defending itself in a legal battle against the clothing giant in a row over its name.
A spokesperson for the fashion company responded in a statement: “We welcome the comedian formerly known as Joe Lycett as a member of the Hugo Boss family.
“As he will know, as a ‘well-known’ trademark (as opposed to a ‘regular’ trademark) Hugo Boss enjoys increased protection not only against trademarks for similar goods, but also for dissimilar goods across all product categories for our brands and trademarks Boss and Boss Black and their associated visual appearance.”
Heather Williams, a Partner and Trade Mark Attorney with Marks & Clerk, advised TheIndustry.fashion: “In a case where an individual changes their name to that of a brand, there is a risk of infringement if they start using their name ‘in the course of trade’. In particular, a brand which has built up a reputation does not need to demonstrate there is consumer confusion in order to successfully enforce their rights.”
Today the comedian released a statement, confirming that going forward he will be using his birth name, Joe Lycett.
A statement pic.twitter.com/LkH792BoKZ— Joe Lycett (@joelycett) April 16, 2020