A Hugo Boss representative has responded to comedian Joe Lycett's decision to change his name as means of protesting the company's treatment of small businesses.
Lawyers for the German fashion label, which is often stylised as Boss, have sent cease-and-desist letters to numerous organisations which use "boss", or similar, in their names. Accordingly, Joe has claimed the move has cost the companies, "thousands in legal fees and rebranding".
Fighting back against the efforts, the British funnyman legally changed his name to Hugo Boss via deed poll earlier this week.
But in response, a spokesperson for the brand insisted: "We welcome the comedian formerly known as Joe Lycett as a member of the Hugo Boss family."
They also clarified their position when it comes to trademarks.
"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," the representative added.
Explaining their dispute with brewery company Boss Brewing from Swansea in Wales, they explained executives of the company "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," the statement continued. "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."
© Cover Media