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Joe Lycett changes name to Hugo Boss

Sunday 1st March 2020, 3:41pm

  • Joe Lycett has legally changed his name to Hugo Boss
  • The comedian is investigating legal practices undertaken by German fashion company Hugo Boss
  • Details will be revealed in the upcoming second series of Joe Lycett's Got Your Back on Channel 4
Joe Lycett's Got Your Back. Joe Lycett. Copyright: Rumpus Media.

Joe Lycett has changed his name. The comic will now be known as Hugo Boss.

He announced on Twitter this afternoon that he has made a formal legal filing by deed poll to change his name, as part of an investigation highlighting seemingly abusive legal practices of the German fashion house.

Hugo Boss, founded in 1924, substantially grew its business through the manufacture of uniforms for the Nazi Party, and later for various arms of the Nazi military machine, including the Waffen-SS, throughout the Second World War. It also used forced labour in its factory.

As part of the upcoming second series of his comic consumer rights series Joe Lycett's Got Your Back, stand-up Lycett/Boss is now exposing modern day practices the fashion company is engaging in through legal processes.

Lycett - who has also changed his Twitter display name to Hugo Boss - posted on the social media platform: "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."

Hugo Boss's new signature is formed of a "cock and balls" doodle.

Registering a trademark - typically a brand name or phrase - means that the registering organisation can protect its usage by unauthorised third parties, ostensibly to avoid confusion amongst the public and stop misleading implications of association, involvement, approval or other link between the trademark holder and the third party.

Details of the exact cases of fashion company Hugo Boss enforcing its naming rights will be revealed when Joe Lycett's Got Your Back Series 2 airs on Channel 4, expected later in the Spring, but Lycett/Boss's tweets imply that it has been aggressively pursuing businesses with various forms of 'Boss' and similar phraseology in their branding, pushing trademark law to its limit in 'protecting' their registered mark, rather than acting in the spirit of the laws to protect their own reputation from abuse.

Notable other recent trademark battles include a legal fight between Kylie Minogue and Kylie Jenner over use of their shared first name in the US.

It is expected that Hugo Boss will change his name back to Joe Lycett around or at the time of the relevant episode's transmission on Channel 4.


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