As previously reported on the reading room, fashion brand Hugo Boss have very much been on the offensive when it comes to their intellectual property rights, making a name for themselves as a bully.
One of their targets was Liverpool based artist John Charles, who planned to release some merchandise displaying the slogan ‘Be Boss, Be Kind’. This plan was following the success of his art lessons online during the first lockdown in the UK. Mr Charles used the slogan during each class and was being asked about merchandise by his followers.
As they have done with many other businesses in various sectors, Hugo Boss did not take kindly to the use of the word ‘Boss’ and sent the artist a cease and desist letter. Not taking into account the meaning of the word ‘boss’ in Liverpool meaning great, the German company sought to block any use of the word ‘Boss’ as they deemed it would damage their reputation.
It seemed that Mr Charles wasn’t going to back down in this matter and that was recognised. The two parties have now reached an amicable settlement which is balanced for both sides. While the finer details of this have not been released, Mr Charles has confirmed this will allow him to continue to offer his art lessons and release his merchandise.
It seems the company here has thought logically about their position before taking formal legal action. It will interesting to see if this carries on or they return to their bullish IP ways. Watch this space!