Rachel Roy won a preliminary injunction in her battle to stop The Jones Group from selling the Rachel Roy brand and associated trademarks to Bluestar Alliance for $14.6 million. New York State Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey Oing handed down the injunction on Friday which effectively prevents the continuance of any negotiations of the sale until the lawsuit has been resolved.
Roy sued the production and distribution company that has been acquired by equity firm Sycamore Partners in April of this year, claiming that the sale of the company violates the agreements between Roy and Jones when Jones acquired the brand in 2008.
To be granted a preliminary injunction, the plaintiff must show there is a likelihood of success and irreparable harm. Justice Oing stated, “Irreparable harm is that, you know, when it comes to trademarks, when it comes to designs, it’s very personal in nature.…This is something that she created, it’s her baby in that sense.…And I can’t help but think that [her trademark or] what she has worked hard at to develop would somehow go downscale or may go downscale, and it may go down to lower end, which is not what she envisioned, and that’s why this contract is written the way it’s written.”
After the injunction was ordered, Roy said, “I am pleased with today’s ruling and that the court has recognized my rights to creative control and approval over the designs and licenses for my brand. I have worked hard to develop the Rachel Roy brand, and my team and I are eager to continue our focus on design, development and production.”
This is a big win for Roy because Jones had no reason to stop negotiations or the actual sale of her brand to Bluestar, but now they are unable to do so until it is determined who has what rights in this case. The parties still have to go to trial to determine that, so Roy may still lose her brand. But, for now, she is moving in the right to direction to get her brand back.
image: David Shankbone
source: “Rachel Roy Wins Round One Against Jones“, Women’s Wear Daily