Case On Point
In this month's case, the court issues a preliminary injunction to enforce the terms of an employment agreement.
JLM Couture, Inc. v. Hayley Paige Gutman
As any loyal viewer of Say Yes to the Dress can tell you, Hayley Paige is a well-known designer of bridal gowns and related products. What is less known, though, is that Hayley Paige is an employee of JLM Couture, Inc. Under the terms of her long-term employment agreement, Paige assigned all trademark rights in her name and other intellectual property rights to JLM in exchange for a compensation package including a salary and commission on sales of products sold under her name.
JLM owned many social media accounts used to promote Paige's designs. Paige opened new accounts, designed to promote her own profile as a celebrity. Both parties initially saw these efforts as useful to the promotion of Hailey's designs to prospective buyers and contributed content. However, Paige then began using the sites for her own financial benefit to promote other, unrelated products without JLM's permission.
Litigation ensued, and JLM moved for the issuance of a preliminary injunction to enforce its rights under the employment agreement. The Court found that JLM was likely to prevail in the case and that it had shown ta likelihood of irreparable harm. While it could not compel Paige to continue providing design services under the Agreement, the Court entered an order prohibiting Paige from otherwise breaching the Agreement. The Order prohibited her from:
- making any changes to the social media accounts without JLM's permission;
- making any commercial use of her name or any variations on it, without JLM's consent;
- competing with JLM in the bridal products market; or
- using any designs she created for or otherwise belonging to JLM.