Professional golfer, Jack Nicklaus, has indelibly made his mark on the sport. His career wins raised the bar for athletes to follow. His business acumen has earned him further fame.
The record holder has also proven successful in golf course design and competitive products for over 50 years. So how could Nicklaus face legal action for allegedly acting against his company?
Master golfer under major scrutiny
Nicklaus signed a $145 million deal with Howard Milstein in 2007.
Claims including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and tortious interference surfaced earlier this year, suggesting the founder hasn’t lived up to his exclusive obligations and has competed with his company.
This case awaits litigation, during which a judge may rule on whether Nicklaus has the right to profit from his name, image or likeness. A court will also consider any contest between the golfer and the company’s intellectual property rights.
Five elements of a tortious interference claim
In economic tort cases like this, courts consider multiple factors. These include the:
- Existence of a valid contract or business relationship
- Awareness of expectations or contracted agreements
- Aim to impede business
- Actions caused an actual interference
- Ill intent behind your actions
Furthermore, these matters correspond to the damage suffered.
The current disputes between Nicklaus and his namesake involve transferred intellectual property as well. And the rights a court grants the legend in strategies off the course remain to be seen.
You may not be able to relate to the specifics of Nicklaus’ case. However, as an entrepreneur, you need to know how to protect your interests in your enterprise. Experienced counsel can help you stay on course as you make complex decisions throughout your business life cycle.