Jack Nicklaus was tough to beat on the course. In court, though, has proven a different challenge.
A Florida district court judge last week ruled that Nicklaus’ former partner, Howard Milstein, would retain the rights to Nicklaus’ name and likeness, according to Sports Illustrated.
The judge, Robin Rosenberg, ruled that due to a previous decision against Nicklaus, 83, in the New York County Supreme Court on the exact same property — Nicklaus’ name and likeness — he lacked any ability to cede control of the property to Nicklaus, the New York Post reports
Nicklaus vs Milstein was initially brought to court in a Palm Beach County Circuit Court case in April but was moved to the federal level at Milstein’s request.
“[This] doesn’t change anything,” Eugene Stearns, Jack Nicklaus’s lead lawyer said, according to Sports Illustrated.
“We will just be back in Florida State court where it started.”
The two parties disagree on the question of exclusivity.
While Nicklaus claims he sold a non-exclusive right to his name and likeness, Milstein argues it was an exclusive right, which he paid $145 million for in 1994.
“We are pleased the court ruled in favour of Nicklaus Companies and dismissed the elements of the case that arise under Federal law, noting that the New York court has already taken jurisdiction over the factual claims in this dispute,” a Nicklaus Companies spokesman said in a statement.
“Nicklaus Companies will be seeking similar relief from the state court in Florida.”
Nicklaus is a legendary golfer widely considered to be among the greatest of all time.
After turning professional in 1962, he won 73 PGA Tour wins and 117 total tournaments. He won every major tournament at least three times.
Nicklaus won his last PGA Tour championship in 1986 and officially retired in 2005.
— This story originally appeared on nypost.com and has been republished with permission
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