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.