Sean Combs, the rapper, actor and entertainment mogul who has also been known as Puff Daddy and Puffy during his career, has lost the right to use his shorter nickname of Diddy in the UK after agreeing to an out-of-court settlement.
His defeat came at the hands of a rather less well-known Diddy, the London-based music producer Richard Dearlove, who has been trading under the name since 1992. Mr Dearlove, 40, sued Combs, 36, for passing off after learning that the rapper had dropped the P from his name and had decided to relaunch himself solely as Diddy. The law of passing off is designed to deal with unfair competition, in particular with businesses that suffer when another one adopts the same name.While accepting he does not quite have Sean Combs's global reach, "Diddy" Dearlove said yesterday there had been some confusion with "Diddy" Combs.
"I suffered from a head injury in 2001, when Sean Combs changed his name to P Diddy. I lost my sight for three years and couldn't work," Mr Dearlove told the Guardian.
"I was all ready to go last year, then, in August, he changed his name to Diddy. I was gutted. I started getting emails from Puerto Rican girls asking if they could be in my video and people were asking me to look at their clothing line." Among his many business interests, Combs also has his own range of clothes.
"My lawyers and I were trying to convince the court there was confusion caused by two people trading under the same name," said Mr Dearlove.