Seamstress can stop designer Hayley Paige from using her own brand, court hears

The Instagram app is seen on a phone screen August 3, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Register

  • The 2nd Circuit says Hayley Paige Gutman can’t use the brand without the seamstress’ permission
  • Lower court must reconsider ownership of social media accounts

The names of companies and law firms listed above are auto-generated based on the text of the article. We are improving this feature as we continue to test and develop in beta. We appreciate feedback, which you can provide using the feedback tab on the right side of the page.

(Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court agreed on Tuesday with wedding designer JLM Couture Inc that designer and influencer Hayley Paige Gutman is not allowed to use her own name for commercial purposes during her legal dispute with the business.

The 2nd United States Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed a Manhattan federal court order preventing Gutman from competing with JLM through the end of their contract or using her name in advertising while JLM pursues a lawsuit against her.

However, the appeals court overturned part of the order that gave JLM control of Gutman’s social media accounts and said the lower court should reconsider the matter.

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Register

Gutman is known as the designer of the “Hayley Paige” wedding dresses and as an influencer on platforms such as Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest. She signed on to design dresses for New York-based JLM in 2011, in a deal that was due to end in August 2022.

After contract negotiations failed, JLM said Gutman locked him on his Instagram account, promoted other companies’ products there without JLM’s permission, and violated a non-compete agreement by appearing at a bridal exhibition.

JLM sued Gutman in 2020, alleging she breached their contract and infringed on her trademarks, among other things. U.S. District Judge Laura Swain granted JLM a preliminary injunction last year, finding he was likely to win on claims.

On appeal, Gutman argued the order prevents him from earning a living and takes away his identity.

The 2nd Circuit claimed that Gutman could not compete with JLM for the remainder of the contract term and that the company could prevent him from using his name in advertising.

Their contract language was clear and unambiguously prohibited Gutman from using his name as a trademark without JLM’s permission, U.S. Circuit Judge Michael Park said.

However, the ruling said the district court erred in granting JLM sole control of three of Gutman’s social media accounts without analyzing who likely owned them.

The court also rejected Gutman’s claims that JLM breached her contract by refusing to pay her after she resigned.

Gutman’s attorney, Joseph Lawlor of Haynes & Boone, said he was pleased with the ruling, which he said puts Gutman’s social media accounts “in his rightful control.”

A JLM spokesperson said the appeals court did not order JLM to let Gutman access the accounts and did not affect JLM’s control over them. The company was happy with the decision, the spokesperson said.

Circuit Judges Jon Newman and Gerard Lynch agreed with parts of the majority opinion and opposed others.

new man disagree with the decision to completely block Gutman’s use of his name commercially.

Lynch noted he reportedly gave JLM control of Gutman’s Instagram account.

The case is JLM Couture Inc v. Gutman, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 21-870.

For Gutman: Richard Rochford and Joseph Lawlor of Haynes & Boone

For JLM: Sarah Matz and Gary Adelman of Adelman Matz

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to note that the parties dispute the effect of the ruling on who controls Gutman’s social media.)

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Register

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Comments are closed.