Hugo Boss’ Latest Legal Battle with Independent Clothes Retailer Explained

Legal battle between independent clothes seller and Fashion Giants Hugo Boss explained.

Over the course of lockdown, many budding entrepreneurs decided to follow their passions and run small businesses. What some may not have realised is the issues behind setting up a business and the presence of trade mark infringement. 

This was seen in the recent battle between budding entrepreneur, John Charles, and fashion icons Hugo Boss. 

Charles ran a small independent clothing line using his tag line: ‘Be Boss, Be Kind’. 

The addition of the wording ‘Be Boss’ led to the most recent trade mark battle with the German Fashion Giants. 

It is believed that Hugo Boss are open to finding a mutual agreement. Despite this, Charles, like many others, do not see the issue of trade mark infringement in this case. Charles claims the terminology and figurative element are not identical or in any way confusing between the two brands. 

Charles’ online classes have gained international reputation where people have been logging on in the likes of Australia and Italy to name a few. Due to the popularity of his online classes Charles started to incorporate his closing slogan.

Charles decided to apply for a trade mark earlier this year to protect his brand from being copied. Hugo Boss have trade mark ownership and monopoly rights over the word boss and therefore decided to send Charles a letter to prevent the use of boss in this manner. 

Charlies is running a clothing business therefore his mark would be covered under class 25. This is the same class used by Hugo Boss therefore there could be a leval of confusion between the brands. Some could think that this independent brand is running in association with Hugo Boss. In some ways ‘passing off’ and using Hugo Boss’ reputation. 

This case is currently still ongoing and communications are still being had between the parties. 

If you are unsure on what can and cannot be Trade Marked or want any further advice please do not hesitate to contact the Trademarkroom team today. Anna Orchard

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