4 April 2019Trademarks

Kardashians avoid trademark dispute over Khroma make-up line

A US appeals court has dismissed a trademark infringement claim against the Kardashian sisters.

On Monday, April 1 the  US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upheld a district court judgment that Europe-based cosmetics company Kroma EU could not bring the legal action against the sisters.

The court  affirmed a finding that Kroma “lacked standing” to sue for trademark infringement, because it does not own the rights to the Kroma trademark.

According to the filing, the Kroma trademark and the rights to use the mark are owned by Florida-based make-up artist Lee Tillett.

In October 2012, Tillett granted an exclusive licence to Kroma EU to import, sell and distribute Kroma products in Europe.

In March 2013, a district court granted Tillet an injunction against ‘Khroma Beauty’, a cosmetic line owned by US-based company Boldface and endorsed by the Kardashian sisters.

The court denied the registration of Khroma Beauty because of likelihood of confusion with Tillett’s earlier mark.

Boldface then rebranded the product line to “Kardashian Beauty” and the parties settled the dispute.

In the case between Kroma EU and Boldface, the court said the licensing agreement between Tillett and Kroma EU “plainly authorised only Tillett to enforce the trademarks”.

It said that Kroma EU’s “sole directive was to inform Tillett of instances of infringement”, and that it lacked “contractual authority, and hence standing, to pursue violations against infringers in its own capacity”.

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