Ownership of Social Media Account at Stake in Second Court of Appeals Case

Over the course of nine years, Haley Page Gutman designed bridal gowns and bridesmaids' dresses under the Hayley Paige brand name for JLM Couture. Gutman’s fame and social media account grew as sales of her designs skyrocketed. In 2019, the relationship between Gutman and JLM fractured, and in 2020, Gutman locked JLM out of her Instagram account. JLM sued Gutman with multiple charges including breach of contract and conversion of social media accounts. The district court granted a temporary injunction barring Gutman from using the social media accounts or any variations of her name in commerce. On appeal, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the district court’s prohibition of Gutman using her name in commerce but found the court’s ruling on social media to be overbroad. Read more about the case here plus a practical note about negotiating terms regarding a party’s name.