New York Court Bars Jack Nicklaus From Licensing His Name to Endorse Golf Courses and Other Commercial Projects - Nicklaus Companies

New York Court Bars Jack Nicklaus From Licensing His Name to Endorse Golf Courses and Other Commercial Projects

Statement of Nicklaus Companies:

We are pleased that the court has formally issued an injunction restraining Mr. Nicklaus from using his name, image and likeness, publicity rights, and other intellectual property assets for commercial gain until this matter is resolved at a full trial. These IP rights were sold to Nicklaus Companies LLC in 2007 for $145 million.

According to the court’s order, the injunction extends to all “officers, directors, agents, shareholders, successors, employees, representatives, heirs, attorneys, and all other persons who are in active concert or participation” with Mr. Nicklaus or GBI Investors. This would include golf course developers, commercial sponsors, and any other entity who would look to exploit Mr. Nicklaus’ name, image or likeness, or any of the company’s intellectual property—including its “JACK NICKLAUS” trademarks—for commercial gain.

It is also important to understand that while the court declined to issue a preliminary injunction as to whether Mr. Nicklaus can compete with Nicklaus Companies in designing golf courses, this is only pending a full trial to determine whether or not he has that right. Plus, any such design work would be subject to the court’s limitations on any use of the Nicklaus Companies’ intellectual property — or any use of Mr. Nicklaus’ name, image and likeness — to endorse the golf course. 

All of these issues have yet to be litigated in full, and after hearing the evidence at trial, we will learn the final decision of the court.

As we have said all along, our goal was to have the court sort out the legal responsibilities of the parties so that there is no confusion or misunderstanding going forward. The court’s injunction is a step in that direction. 

We still hope for a collaborative and amicable resolution to these matters. Despite the disparaging statements orchestrated by Mr. Nicklaus’ attorneys against Nicklaus Companies and Jack’s business partner, we continue to have great admiration for Jack and his accomplishments, and will use our rights to his name, image and likeness to keep his legend alive. We will do everything we can to ensure his legacy lives on for generations to come.

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