It is possible that in the future, Jack Nicklaus will no longer be able to sign the courses he does! The story is long and is not yet over, even if a first court judgment has just been rendered. Here are the main points: after a brilliant sporting career, Jack Nicklaus launched himself, with as much success, into the architecture and construction of golf courses.
In 2007, the inventor of more than 300 golf courses sold his company Nicklaus Companies for $145 million to his partner Howard Milstein. Relations soured between the pair and in 2017 Nicklaus decided to quit his job and serve his five-year term, which then allowed him to design courses independently.
His attitude was not to the liking of the businessman Milstein who has just accused him of not respecting the terms of the agreement concluded 15 years ago, of working directly against his former company, of having negotiated with Saudi Arabia an offer of services in the order of 100 million, having helped the release of a video game etc.
Milstein’s lawsuit was for breach of contract, breach of judicial duty and tortious interference. Nicklaus, 82, reacted quickly by creating a new company – 1-JN – owned by him and his wife Barbara. And declaring in a press release: “I have been fortunate in my long life to have succeeded in my career: first by playing and winning at golf, then by designing courses… Over 50 years have passed elapsed since my first course, but I’m more passionate than ever about golf course design.
I firmly believe that my ideas and creativity are even better now than they have ever been, and I am inspired to continue to produce memorable and lasting golf experiences that can be enjoyed for years to come. You might say I have nothing to prove, but I still have a lot to give.
» A New York judge has just rendered a first judgment and has ruled that Jack Nicklaus, currently being sued by Jack Nicklaus Companies, is authorized to use his own name for golf course design work, except for commercial mentions.
Jack Nicklaus, statements
The judgment was read another way by the management of his former company who issued the following statement just before Christmas: “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 purposes until this case is resolved in a full trial. These intellectual property rights were sold to Nicklaus Companies LLC in 2007 for $145 million.
According to the court order, the injunction extends to all “officers, directors, agents, shareholders, successors, employees, representatives, heirs, attorneys and all other persons who are in concert or in active participation” with Mr.
Nicklaus or GBI Investors. This would include golf course developers, commercial sponsors and any other entity that seeks to exploit the name, image or likeness of Mr. Nicklaus, or any of the company’s intellectual property – including his “JACK NICKLAUS” trademarks.
– for commercial purposes. “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 golf course design, that awaits a full trial to determine.
whether or not he has this right. Additionally, 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 course.
golf. All of these issues have yet to be argued in full, and after hearing the evidence at trial, we will learn the court’s final decision”