After years of tangling in court and via social media, the bridal designer Hayley Paige Gutman and JLM Couture have agreed to a settlement.

As part of the deal, Gutman agreed to pay JLM $263,000 and the New York based muti-brand bridal company has given the designer the rights to the “Hayley Paige” name and social media accounts. This also paves the way for her to return to designing wedding gowns and returning to the bridal industry. With a million-plus followers on Instagram and Pinterest, the designer had used those mediums — albeit under different names — to periodically air her legal woes, just as she had used them to attract shoppers.

The designer had taken on a design role at JLM in 2011 and created her namesake wedding dresses until 2020. That same year JLM took legal action against her for allegedly locking out the company from the “Hayley Paige” social media accounts and violating a noncompete deal, among other alleged infractions.

A spokesperson for Gutman did not respond immediately Wednesday to an interview request.

Last fall JLM filed for reorganization under Subchapter V of Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Commenting Wednesday about the May 24 filing in a Delaware bankruptcy court, JLM president and chief executive officer Joseph Murphy said, “We thought it would be best for both parties. As far as JLM goes, it strengthens our position in the marketplace. The settlement helps both parties look forward and not backward. We thought it was in the best interest of not just both parties but the wedding industry. And she seems happy.”

The social media savvy Gutman spread the word about her win on Instagram Tuesday with a video post that also offered a crib sheet of sorts — “Alexa, play: “Say My Name…” For those in a hurry, here are CliffsNotes: – I got my name back. – I can design wedding dresses again. – I acquired the entire Hayley Paige intellectual property portfolio.- You are my happy thought.”

In a statement issued by her attorneys at Haynes and Boone, Gutman said, “I’m truly relieved that there has been a respectful resolve for all parties and most certainly wish my former employer and opposing counsel well.”

The resolution was a few years in the making for the bridal designer, who filmed her Instagram video against a grid-like backdrop of 50-plus sketches of wedding dresses. She and JLM Couture had been warring since 2020 in the courts. In January, the Second Circuit Court rejected a six-factor social media account ownership test and vacated a preliminary injunction that had awarded JLM control of her social media accounts. At that time, the court sided with Haynes and Boone’s argument that ownership should be determined “like any other form of property,” by determining who owned the account at the moment of its creation and then evaluating whether that owner sold or transferred the account.

After a Second District Court decision in May of this year, Gutman once again retained sole control of her social media accounts.

In 2021, the designer had been sidelined from competing with JLM until the end of her contract, or using “Hayley Paige” in advertising. Earlier this year a federal court decision determined that Gutman would have to wait out that noncompete through the end of 2025. But last week’s settlement has lifted that and Gutman can get back into the bridal industry now.

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