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  • Henry Park

Influencers beware of licensing your name

Ms. Hayley Paige Gutman exclusively licensed the use and trademark of her name and its various combinations to her employer for bridal clothing. Ms. Gutman was using her name on various social media accounts. The relationship eventually deteriorated and Ms. Gutman declared the business relationship over. Her employer sued to prohibit Ms. Gutman from using any of her name trademarks and also for control of the social media accounts.

The Court ruled in favor of the employer (JLM Couture, Inc. v. Hayley Paige Gutman, 20-CV-10575-LTS-SLC (S.D.N.Y. 2021) (see Google Scholar link). The Court found the contract unambiguous. The contract granted the employer exclusive world-wide right and license to the name Hayley Paige Gutman and its combinations for bridal clothing, and the employer registered a number of trademarks covering Hayley Paige Gutman. Because of the likelihood of confusion if Ms. Gutman used her birth name in commerce, the Court prohibited her from using her own name.

If you are an influencer, be cautious about how you license your name because you could lose the right to use it.

Photo by Godisable Jacob from Pexels

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