Celebrity Trademark Watch: Kardashians Kalled to Kourt?

Foley Hoag LLP - Trademark, Copyright & Unfair Competition

Kim, Kourtney, and Khloé , the reality-TV triple threat otherwise known as the Kardashians, are going to have to keep up with the federal court in California.  The three sisters (not to be confused with Chekhov’s titular ladies), mostly famous for being famous, have been named in a trademark litigation counter-suit filed by the owner of KROMA makeup.  The KROMA line was apparently launched in 2010.

In November 2012, Boldface Licensing and Branding filed an action for declaratory judgment of non-infringement against Kroma’s owner Lee Tillett, Inc.  Boldface is the owner of a lucrative licensing agreement with the Kardashian sisters in connection with the KHROMA line of beauty products, which launched in 2012.  As alleged in the complaint, Tillett and Boldface were unable to reach a compromise after Tillett’s counsel sent Boldface a cease-and-desist letter claiming that Boldface’s use of KHROMA infringes Tillett’s registered KROMA trademark.

Tillett fired back this past Friday with infringement counterclaims, but upped the ante by naming the sisters as individual defendants.  She alleges that the K-crew controls the branding of the new products, including the choice to call the line KHROMA.  One additional alleged fact adds some intrigue.  Apparently, Tillett and middle-sister Kim’s representatives previously discussed the possibility of strategically aligning the KROMA brand with Kim Kardashian’s publicity juggernaut.  No agreement came to fruition, but Tillett contends that Boldface and the sisters intentionally co-opted KHROMA with full knowledge of the pre-existing KROMA brand.

As is the case with most anything the celebutante sisters touch, there is quite a bit of money at stake.  Each sister is reportedly poised to make millions from the sale of KHROMA cosmetics.  Perhaps a lucrative settlement is in the cards for Tillett, in exchange for her rights in KROMA.  We’ll have to wait and see.

Photo courtesy of Hollywood Branded.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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