Designer Rachel Roy has won the first round in her lawsuit against the Jones Group, as the New York Supreme Court has granted her preliminary injunction. The NYC-based designer slapped the Jones Group with a $20 million lawsuit last month for “ruining” her eponymous womenswear label. The Jones Group, which was recently acquired by private equity firm, Sycamore Partners, bought 50% of Roy’s brand in 2008, but cut ties with the designer in March.
What exactly is a preliminary injunction and why is it so important? Well, a preliminary injunction is an emergency, yet, temporary order that aims to maintain the status quo of the parties' operations. In this case particularly, it prevents the Jones Group from selling Roy's brand and its intellectual property to Bluestar Alliance, a brand management group, which currently maintains an array of brands, including Catherine Malandrino and Kensie, among others.
In order to be granted this form of relief, Roy's counsel had to show a few things. For instance, irreparable harm, which generally means that the moving party (Roy, in this case) has or will suffer a harm and that money damages or any other non-equitable form of relief will not suffice as a remedy. Additionally, her team had to show that such harm is "likely" (and not merely "possible") and also that Roy is likely to succeed in proving all of the necessary elements of her case - aka winning. (Other elements of a preliminary injunction, such as the balancing of the equities and consideration of public interest have been left out for the purposes of simplification).
Of the decision, Roy said late last week: "I am pleased with today's ruling and that the Court has recognized my rights to creative control and approval over the designs and licenses for my brand." More to come, unless the parties settle this one out of court before the trial, which is often the case …