Comedian Joe Lycett legally changed his name to Hugo Boss to protest against the German fashion company.
The company, which often calls itself “boss”, has sent cessation and forbearance letters to small businesses and charities that also use the word “boss”, or the like, in their names.
“It is clear that Hugo Boss hates people who use their names,” Lycett wrote on Twitter.
The BBC asked Hugo Boss, the company, for comment.
“Unfortunately for them this week, I legally changed my name by poll and I am now officially known as Hugo Boss,” added Lycett, alongside photographic evidence of his name change.
The comic, which appeared on the BBC live at the Apollo, said that the fashion house cost small businesses “thousands of legal fees and brand change.”
One of the most publicized cases in recent years has concerned the Swansea brewery, Boss Brewing.
At the time, a spokesperson for Hugo Boss said: “Following the request for registration of the trademark filed by the brewery, we approached them concerning the use of Boss in connection with two names of beer in the wallet.
“This was to avoid potential conflicts and misunderstandings regarding the Boss and Boss Black brands, which had been used by the brewery but are (long-standing) trademarks of our company.
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“The discussions clarified the situation with regard to these two brands as well as with regard to textile merchandising for the future. The brewery is able to process the majority of their products without impacting their current brand image.”
According to i newspaper in 2018, a charity called DarkGirlBoss also received a legal letter from Hugo Boss when it attempted to register the brand name.
Lycett, 31, from Birmingham, said he would “launch a brand new product under the name of Hugo Boss” on his consumer rights show on Channel 4, Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back.
Last year, he usurped the identity and the boss of RBS in order to help a scammed client to recover his £ 8,000.
Comedian David Baddiel jokingly applauded his “extraordinary and brilliant engagement” this time, while another stand-up, Rhys James, was quick to suggest taking the old name Lycett.
Lycett’s name was also changed to Hugo Boss on his Wikipedia page.
Anyone over the age of 16 in the UK can legally change their name, for a fee of around £ 15.
The German label Hugo Boss was founded in 1924 in Metzingen, Germany, and supplied famous uniforms for the Nazi party.
In 2011, the company apologized for its ill-treatment of forced labor during the Second World War.
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