Press Release

Haynes Boone Helps Bridal Designer Win Rights to Name, Social Media Accounts in Landmark Settlement

May 28, 2024

A team of Haynes and Boone, LLP intellectual property litigators helped guide bridal designer Hayley Paige Gutman to a settlement agreement with JLM Couture, Inc., under which Gutman has acquired all of her intellectual property, including the right to use her name and all of her prior bridal designs. The settlement comes only weeks after the Haynes Boone team secured a precedent-setting victory in court, returning Gutman’s million-plus follower Instagram and Pinterest accounts to her sole control. As part of the settlement agreement, she has also been released from her non-complete agreement, effective immediately.

Partners Joe Lawlor, Tiffany Cooke, Richard Rochford and Associate Michael Lambert have represented Gutman, one of the most recognized bridal designers in the world, since December 2020, in a dispute with her former employer, JLM Couture.

“We are thrilled for Hayley, who will be able to use her name, image and likeness to climb and excel in the wedding industry,” Lawlor said. “This is a big win for creatives and social media influencers, affirming their rights to their personal brand and digital presence.”

Prior to the settlement, a January Second Circuit decision in this case was the first federal court circuit-level opinion regarding ownership of social media accounts. Following the Second Circuit decision, the Southern District of New York granted Gutman sole and exclusive ownership of her social accounts in May. Now, with the parties reaching a settlement agreement to resolve all disputes, Gutman has acquired all of her intellectual property and is able to re-enter the bridal industry under her own name.

“I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to my legal team, as their efforts have been nothing short of intelligent, resilient and gracious,” Gutman said in a prepared statement. “I’m truly relieved that there has been a respectful resolve for all parties and most certainly wish my former employer and opposing counsel well.”