Kardashians in Kourt: Sisters Win Injunction in Cosmetics Lawsuit

Haven Beauty's use of the Kardashian trademarks likely confuses consumers, a judge rules.
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Kardashian Beauty is in for some major rebranding, after a California federal judge on Tuesday granted an injunction to stop them from using the famous sisters' trademarks.

Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian squared off with Haven Beauty and Hillair Capital this spring, claiming the companies continued to use their images for the Kardashian Beauty cosmetics line after their exclusive license agreement was terminated.

"[T]he Kardashians submit extensive evidence of irreparable harm, including, most importantly, that they no longer have any control over their reputation and good will related to Haven Beauty's unauthorized use of their trademarks in connection with the design, manufacture, and distribution of Kardashian Beauty-branded cosmetic products," writes judge James V. Selna.

Dueling injunctions filed in July dispute which side initially breached the deal. The famous siblings claim they weren't paid royalties they were owed for licensing their image to the beauty line, while Haven claims the Kardashians fabricated breaches because they were unhappy with the deal they made with the line's financier, Hillair.

Selna found that counsel for the Kardashians, Michael Kump, Jonathan Steinsapir and Gregory Korn of Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP, have established that the siblings will likely succeed on their trademark infringement and right of publicity claims.

If Haven felt the Kardashians had breached the contract, Selna writes, the company had two options: consider the contract terminated and stop performance, or continue making royalty payments and using the trademarks and then sue for damages. What the company did, however, isn't a viable option.

"[T]he licensee cannot both stop paying royalties but nevertheless continue using the trademark," Selna writes. "By refusing to make royalty payments due under the license agreement, Haven Beauty forfeited the right to continue using the Kardashian trademarks. This is true even if Defendants are correct that the Kardashians breached first, that Haven Beauty's breach was excused, or that the Kardashians later improperly terminated the license agreement."

The preliminary injunction bars Haven Beauty, its officers, employees, attorneys, and those acting in concert with them, from using the Kardashian trademarks, likenesses or images in connection with any goods or services.

While the Kardashians are no strangers to the spotlight, the license agreement contains a mandatory arbitration provision so all of the legal action from this point forward will likely happen behind closed doors.

 

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