Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Ridiculous Trademark: "Cousteau"

Shortly after Jacques Cousteau's first wife passed away in 1990, he revealed to his family that he had been having a 16-year affair with Francine, a woman 40-years his junior whom he met on a Concorde jet while she was working as an air hostess. He openly admitted to fathering two children by her. The two married six months later.

While his first wife, Simone, was alive, Cousteau shared ownership of his assets with her, including the famous ship Calypso. Cousteau's sons, most prominently Jean-Michel, spent many years working with his father in his oceanographic explorations, helping to build the prestige of Jacques' work and the Cousteau name.

Shortly after Jacques passed away in 1997, Francine claimed to represent her late husband's legacy and work, which the children of Cousteau contested. The courts eventually found in favor of Francine, awarding her sole custody of the Cousteau trademark in oceanographic endeavors.

Today, Jean-Michel and his siblings cannot use their own last name in conjunction with oceanographic pursuits.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

so sick it hurts

1:59 AM  
Blogger salimbag said...

Good points, but a small quibble which plays in the irony of the outcome. Jacques had a younger son, Philippe, who was very involved in his work. He was the brilliant heir apparent until his death in a plane crash in 1979. Jean Michel, an architect, never really cared for the work and has drifted in and out of the organization. Back to your points: Jean Michel did run a ritzy eco-resort in the south pacific, and was prevented from using HIS OWN NAME in the title, like you said. But even sadder is the fact that Philippe Cousteau's own children tried to set up a "Philippe Cousteau Foundation" to honor their late father and continue his work and was also thwarted by Francine's long legal arm. They were forced to rename their organization "Earth Echo." Probably won't have the same cache....

11:45 AM  
Anonymous GUAVA said...

incredible. thank you for this!

8:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This truely shows that there are at least two different sorts of humans, who will never come together. People who care about life and their surroundings and who dedicate themselves to a cause, and people who just use and consume what they want. I'm truly affraid the latter (with probably missing common sense) will eventually take over and destroy human life. Luckily this will have happened before they have completely destroyed the planet, so that there is a future for insects (could it be they're hired by the bugs?)

11:27 PM  

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