18 February 2016Trademarks

Reese Witherspoon settles image rights dispute

Academy Award-winning actor Reese Witherspoon has settled an image rights dispute with retailers who used her image to advertise jewellery.

Witherspoon sued several retailers in 2013 after they sold “Reese Witherspoon” branded jewellery.

She had requested $15 million in damages for the alleged infringement of her trademarks and image rights in a lawsuit filed at the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles in 2013.

Since filing the claim, Witherspoon has had to overcome three attempts to end the case early by Sears, Skye Associates and Gemvara, three of the retailers named in the complaint.

In December, the court rejected Gemvara’s motion for a summary judgment and said the question of whether Witherspoon’s image rights had been misappropriated required a trial.

But, in the same ruling, the court threw out Witherspoon’s trademark and trade dress claims. It said that she “fails to establish that her name has acquired secondary meaning”.

A trial was due to take place this month, but according to The Hollywood Reporter the parties have settled all outstanding claims.

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