Hugo Boss responds to Joe Lycett's name change

Hugo Boss has responded to Joe Lycett’s name change, after the comedian legally switched his name to that of the massive company.

Earlier this week it emerged comedian Joe had legally changed his name by deed poll to Hugo Boss in protest against the massive company targeting a small brewery in Swansea, Boss Brewing, that shared the Boss name.

Now Hugo Boss (the company) has broken its silence on the palaver, with a bizarre statement, saying they don’t oppose the free use of language, or the use of the ‘generic’ term boss.

‘We welcome the comedian formerly known as Joe Lycett as a member of the Hugo Boss family,’ the statement read.

It continued, descending into business mumbo jumbo: ‘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.

‘Following the application by Boss Brewing to register a trademark similar to our ‘well-known’ trademark, we approached them to prevent potential misunderstanding regarding the brands Boss and Boss Black, which were being used to market beer and items of clothing.

‘Both parties worked constructively to find a solution, which allows Boss Brewing the continued use of its name and all of its products, other than two beers (Boss Black and Boss Boss) where a slight change of the name was agreed upon.’

It concluded: ‘As an open-minded company we would like to clarify that we do not oppose the free use of language in any way and we accept the generic term ‘boss’ and its various and frequent uses in different languages.’

Joe/Hugo made headlines this week when he announced that he had legally changed his name by deed poll to Hugo Boss, to fight the fashion house sending cease and desist letters to small businesses using the name ‘Boss’.

The 31-year-old tweeted: ‘So @HUGOBOSS (who turnover approx $2.7 billion a year) have sent cease & desist letters to a number of small businesses & charities who use the word ‘BOSS’ or similar, including a small brewery in Swansea costing them thousands in legal fees and rebranding.

‘It’s clear that @HUGOBOSS HATES people using their name. Unfortunately for them this week I legally changed my name by deed poll and I am now officially known as Hugo Boss. All future statements from me are not from Joe Lycett but from Hugo Boss. Enjoy.’

Speaking on The Victoria Derbyshire Show on Monday, Joe – or Hugo – explained: ‘Hugo Boss is also a company, I believe, and there’s a small company called Boss Brewing in Swansea…and they tried to make a trademark for a couple of their beers and Hugo Boss sent them a cease and desist letter…and I think it’s a massive company taking on a little company and it’s not fair.

‘Nobody is going to confuse a beer with Hugo Boss.

‘I thought, they clearly don’t like their name being used, they’ve sent dozens of these to small businesses, charities.’

By doing this, and going on the telly, with his BBC pass stating his name is Hugo Boss, the comedian wants the company to stop sending cease and desist letters, and to pay back the reported £10,000 in legal fees and costs, such as new labels, Boss Brewery had to cough up to deal with the changes.

He added: ‘And an apology would be nice, Hugo if you can apologise that would be great.’

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