8 August 2017

Estée Lauder lipsticks smacked with trade dress suit

Cosmetics brand Estée Lauder has been smacked with a trade dress infringement lawsuit over a new line of lipsticks.

Japanese luxury skincare brand Tatcha filed its claim at the US District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division, yesterday.

Tatcha accused Too Faced, a makeup brand acquired by Estée Lauder last year, of copying Tatcha’s lipstick line.

In April 2015, Tatcha introduced its “elegant and striking trade dress” with its first lipstick product, Tatcha Kyoto Red Silk.

The trade dress includes a one-colour case with a brand displayed on the cap, a gold band at the closure, and a gold circular medallion displaying the brand logo at the closure point.

“When defendant’s new lipstick packaging is seen side-by-side with plaintiff’s products, the extensive similarities are undeniable,” said Tatcha.

It accused Too Faced of copying Tatcha’s use of a semi-circular cut-out in the cap that “ensures that the trademark is centred above the logo on the bright gold circular medallion”.

Tatcha said it had recently learned that Too Faced plans to introduce new lipstick packaging.

On Too Faced’s website the brand has advertised a Peach Kiss lipstick product, stating that it is “coming soon”. This is the line of lipstick said to be infringing.

“Indeed, it is a tribute to the inherent distinctiveness of the Tatcha trade dress that, even before defendant has brought its infringing products to market, instances of actual confusion among consumers have already occurred,” alleged the suit.

Tatcha is seeking injunctive relief, destruction of labels and advertising bearing the infringing marks, profits, damages, corrective advertising, and a jury trial.

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