LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A long-time friend and business partner of late Las Vegas entrepreneur Tony Hsieh filed a lawsuit Thursday against his estate over ownership of the “Delivering Happiness” brand, documents the 8 News Now Investigators obtained said.

Jenn Lim and Hsieh, who founded Zappos, created two companies under the “Delivering Happiness” moniker, which is also the title of Hsieh’s 2010 book. In the book, Hsieh thanks Lim as “his long-time friend and backup brain,” her lawyers said in court documents.

Hsieh died from injuries he sustained in a house fire in Connecticut in 2020. He was 46.

Lim and her attorneys claim his estate is seeking ownership of the brand and companies, Delivering Happiness, LLC; and Winkey, LLC, that Lim and Hsieh created together, they said. Lawyers also claim the estate is writing her out of her contributions to the bestselling book.

Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh speaks onstage during day 1 of the 2015 Life is Beautiful festival on September 25, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)

“In the [“Delivering Happiness”] book, Tony credits her for helping him navigate the creation of the book from inception to finish, propelling the [“Delivering Happiness”] book to be a bestseller, developing it into a worldwide-recognizable title, and over the last 13 years, subsequently growing it into a globally respected brand and workplace culture philosophy,” her lawyers wrote in court documents.

Lim’s attorneys call Hsieh a “silent partner” in the Delivering Happiness brand, working with Lim on the two companies for more than a decade, first Delivering Happiness and later Winkey, documents said.

According to the lawsuit, in the event of one of the manager’s deaths, Winkey, the surviving business in 2020, was to act as its sole manager. As part of that agreement, “[Lim] was entitled to receive compensation of $15,000 per month prior to any other allocation of profits,” the lawsuit said.

According to the lawsuit, the estate is seeking to have the joint business dissolved and return the brand’s intellectual property solely to it.

“Jenn’s actions during the last months of his life were especially telling towards how much she respected and cared for Tony and their relationship,” lawyers said. “In July 2020, she turned down Tony’s offer of $500,000 to fund a new idea that wasn’t aligned with [Delivering Happiness] brand values, and in August 2020, she directly communicated her concerns to [Tony’s father] about Tony’s overall health and long-term vitality.”

Lim’s lawsuit asks a jury for damages worth more than $15,000, the standard minimum in Nevada civil cases.

Lawyers for Hsieh’s estate have repeatedly written in court documents that Hsieh did not have the mental capacity to sign off on contracts in the months and years leading up to his death.

Earlier this year, a man who claimed he was owed more than $12 million of Hsieh’s wealth in a deal made on a Post-It note has settled with the former Zappos CEO’s estate, records showed. Details of the settlements were not made public.

Hsieh’s estate also settled a similar claim in March. Tony Lee, who said he was friends with Hsieh for nearly 20 years, filed a lawsuit in 2021 for $7 million, documents said. Details of his settlement were also not publicly disclosed.

Hsieh helped revitalize downtown Las Vegas and is revered for his service to the community.