Kim, Kourtney and Khloé Kardashian introduced their cosmetics line, Khroma Beauty, last year. While the makeup has been garnering some headlines, it has not been for the reasons that the reality television stars might have been hoping.
In November, the owners of Beverly Hills–based cosmetics company Chroma Makeup Studio issued a public statement complaining that the Kardashians’ new beauty line would cause consumer confusion. Chroma owners Michael Rey III and Lisa Casino posted a letter on their website that sought to distinguish their Luxe beauty brand from the Kardashian product for ULTA. “Rest assured, Chroma Makeup Studio, which has a long-standing reputation for high quality colour line cosmetics and services, is NOT endorsing low budget cosmetic products that will be sold in mass retail outlets,” the letter stated. “Chroma is in no way associated with the Kardashians.”
However, seven-employee Chroma was not the first company to allege trademark infringement against Boldface Group, Inc., the Kardashians’ license-holder that sells the Khroma makeup. In June, the Florida-based owner of Kroma makeup, Lee Tillett Inc., sent a cease and desist letter to Boldface. Lee Tillett claimed that Khroma Beauty infringed on a trademark on Kroma that Tillett applied for in 2010.
Boldface responded at the end of November by filing an action for declaratory judgment in response to the cease and desist letter. Business Insider reported that Boldface stated in its legal documents that the name Kroma “consists solely of a descriptive term and lacks any inherent distinctive meaning to the relevant consuming public and therefore, is conceptually weak.” In October, Boldface CEO Nicole Ostoya told the Huffington Post, “We do not believe that there is any likelihood of confusion between Khroma Beauty” and any other entity, because Khroma Beauty “is clearly marketed together with the famous Kardashian brand name and will be sold with singular and distinctive trade dress.”
Do you believe that the high-end makeup sold by Kroma and Chroma will suffer because of confusion with the Kardashian product? Additional information about other types of intellectual property litigation can be found on our website. If another individual or entity has infringed on your trademarked material, use the form on this page or contact our firm at (323) 653-3900 to have our Los Angeles trademark infringement attorney review your case.
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