Sunglass giant Oakley claims it accidentally overpaid Olympian snowboarding champion, Shaun White after an accounting error caused the company to pay him nearly a million dollars more than intended.
According to legal documents obtained by The Blast, Oakley says it discovered, during a licensing royalty inspection, that it had “mistakenly paid royalties to Shaun White Enterprises for post-expiration sales of Holbrook eyewear for which no royalty was due, resulting in an overpayment of $924,448.43”.
As The Blast first reported, White originally sued Oakley, saying the company kept using his likeness to promote their product even after their deal expired.
White claims he had a licensing deal with Oakley that expired on December 31, 2017.
He alleged that even after the deal ended, Oakley “continued to prominently use Mr. White’s name, image and identity, without this consent, in advertising, marketing and promotion for Oakley and Sunglass Hut.”
In his lawsuit, he alleged they used his image to promote their products including “leading up to, during and after the XXIII Olympic Winter Games … in their products and in large posters in their store windows in South Korea where the games took place and where Mr. White won his record-breaking third gold medal in snowboarding.”
White says that Oakley, “did not receive Mr. White’s permission to use his publicity rights in connection with the Infringements, or otherwise to associate heir companies or rands with Mr. White, or to market or sell their commercial products after the expiration of the terms of the agreement.”
Last month, Oakley sent Shaun White Enterprises a written demand for reimbursement of the overpayment, demanding that SWE (and White) return to Oakley the current balance of that overpayment – over $900K. In the docs, Oakley says “despite Oakley’s demand, cross-defendants have failed to return any portion of the overpayment.”
Oakley claims they are “entitled to an award of $924,448.43” from White as “damages and/or restitution as a result of the mistaken payment.”
Good luck collecting that money, at least until a judge decides who will get what.