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Comedian ‘legally changes name to Hugo Boss’ in trademark taunt

Joe Lycett during the filming of the Graham Norton Show at BBC (Ian West/PA)
Joe Lycett during the filming of the Graham Norton Show at BBC (Ian West/PA)

A comedian said he has legally changed his name to Hugo Boss in a jibe against the German luxury designer using trademark claims to target small businesses and charities who use the name “boss”.

Joe Lycett, 31, posted a letter on Twitter purporting to be from the UK Deed Poll Office, which committed him to “absolutely and entirely renounce, relinquish and abandon the use of my said former name”.

He said he would be “launching a brand new product as Hugo Boss” which will be revealed on a new series of the Channel 4 consumer rights show Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back.

The entertainer, who has appeared on Never Mind The Buzzcocks and Live At The Apollo, wrote: “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.”

According to WalesOnline, Swansea-based Boss Brewing was left with legal fees totalling around £10,000 last year after the fashion brand sent it a cease and desist letter when the brewer tried to register its brand.

In 2018, the i paper reported that a charity called DarkGirlBoss received a legal letter from Hugo Boss when it tried to trademark the name.

Founded in 1924, the fashion company – which often stylises itself as Boss, employs more than 14,000 people in 127 countries and generated sales of more than 2.7 billion euros in 2018 from its 439 stores.

It has been contacted for comment.

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