Steve Nash will be able to go to court to have his name and image removed from a chain of fitness clubs bearing his name.
The BC Court of Appeal made the ruling Wednesday.
Nash had gone to court to seek an injunction preventing Steve Nash Fitness World from using his name and reputation to promote the facilities.
SNFW Fitness BC Ltd. operates 23 fitness clubs in the province, including one in Kelowna.
The original court judge ruled in favour of the defendants, who had asked the claim be dismissed.
“She found there was no genuine issue for trial as the defendants had properly acquired the endorsement, and B & L’s (Nash’s company) allegations of illegality were unsupported by any evidence,” Justice Goepel summarized in his ruling.
“The judge misapplied the test for summary judgment by placing the onus on B & L. Although the defendants showed the endorsement was properly obtained, they failed to provide a complete answer to the allegation that continued use of the endorsement contravened California law. ”
The original licencing agreement with Nash was written in 2006 in accordance with California law.
Under the original agreement, Nash was a shareholder and director of the fitness company bearing his name. That is no longer the case, leading to the original court filing asking for his name to be removed.
“The underlying issue in this litigation is whether, under California law a business can continue to use the endorsement of a celebrity when the celebrity is no longer using the business’ product,” said Mr. Justice Goepel.
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