Intellectual Property Attorney

Elements of Brand Licensing: Jessica Simpson and Sequential Brands Group

Elements of Brand Licensing: Jessica Simpson and Sequential Brands Group

On April 2, 2015, Sequential Brands Group (NASDAQ: SQBG) announced a definitive agreement with Jessica Simpson, acquiring a majority interest in Ms. Simpson’s “Jessica Simpson” brand. Under the terms of the deal, the “Jessica Simpson” brand is now owned by a joint venture, With You LLC, in which Ms. Simpson retains an ownership interest. Ms. Simpson continues to be responsible for all “creative” decisions associated with the “Jessica Simpson” brand. With the brand’s annual retail sales at approximately $1 Billion, the move represents an exciting partnership between Ms. Simpson and Sequential. As Ms. Simpson said, “I’m as committed as I was ten years ago. Here’s to the next billion.”

Many months in the making, the intent of this complex agreement is to greatly expand upon the unparalleled success that had been achieved by Ms. Simpson and her master licensee, Vince Camuto. While the “Jessica Simpson” brand is currently represented by 31 product lines that include footwear, fragrance and apparel, the new deal enables Ms. Simpson to pursue exciting plans for growth of her brand into new categories and territories. The Camuto Group’s continuing commitment to the “Jessica Simpson” brand is reflected by its newly signed long-term license to continue to manufacture and distribute “Jessica Simpson” brand footwear.

Helping navigate Ms. Simpson’s valuation, intellectual property and licensing efforts was Charles W. Grimes—principal and founder of Grimes LLC. With more than forty years of licensing and intellectual property experience, Mr. Grimes brought unparalleled expertise to the table.

For more than a decade, Mr. Grimes has guided Ms. Simpson as she steered her “Jessica Simpson” brand through the sometimes tangled web of intellectual property and licensing law. Mr. Grimes has also overseen the defense of Ms. Simpson’s brand in litigation around the world, while providing world-class trademark portfolio management.

According to Mr. Grimes, “I am excited to have helped Jess close this deal. It’s a wonderful partnership that is in her best interests as well as the best interests of her brand and the Sequential Group.”

Grimes LLC has been engaged by the new joint venture to continue to handle intellectual property and licensing for the “Jessica Simpson” brand.

Grimes LLC, which recently relocated its principal office to Bonita Springs, Florida (while maintaining appointment locations in New York and Connecticut), continues to represent a broad spectrum of clients worldwide, while never losing sight of its commitment to provide each and every client with the individual attention they deserve.

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