Skincare lotion applied to hand

Hailey Bieber brought to court over Rhode skincare trademark tussle

By James Wan

What you need to know (in a nutshell)

  1. Hailey Bieber’s new skincare line, Rhode, is facing a trademark infringement lawsuit from an LA-based clothing label of the same name.
  2. The clothing brand, Rhode, claims that Hailey Bieber tried to acquire the trademark from its owners in 2018 but went ahead with her brand anyway after they refused.
  3. The clothing brand’s legal team claims that Hailey Bieber’s actions will cause “immediate, ongoing and irreparable harm” to their business. They have asked the court to block her from using the Rhode name to avoid confusion.

Full Article

A mere few days post-launch, Hailey Bieber’s nascent skincare range has encountered considerable controversy and now confronts a lawsuit over allegations of trademark infringement. According to the legal representatives of Los Angeles-based apparel label Rhode, which has held the trademark since 2014, accusations have surfaced that Bieber endeavoured to wrest it from designers Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers. This predicament poses a vexing difficulty for both parties: on the one hand, there appears to be compelling evidence of potentially nefarious efforts by Hailey Bieber’s camp to usurp another brand’s promotional endeavours through a name alteration – undeniably damaging if accurate. On the other hand, doubts linger about whether sufficient due diligence was executed when selecting monikers before launching her enterprise.

Despite being aware of Rhode and its antecedent rights, Hailey Bieber allegedly dismissed their refusal to permit her to debut the Rhode brand under her appellation. According to Lisa T. Simpson, chief litigation counsel for the clothing brand, in an email statement: “It is a lamentable situation. We comprehend that Ms Bieber aspires to utilise her middle name for this undertaking. Still, legal precedent clearly indicates that one cannot engender such confusion when devising a specific label merely due to a desire to emblazon their sobriquet upon it.” Simpson expounded that Ms Bieber’s actions have been detrimental to a venture jointly owned by two women who invested considerable effort in elevating it to an international success story, adding: “The current circumstances could potentially tarnish the reputation these fledgling entrepreneurs are striving to cultivate – an outcome that ought to be averted at any cost.”

Ms Khatau and Ms Vickers, collegiate friends who forged the Rhode brand from scratch, recently posted a statement on their label’s Instagram account regarding the lawsuit filed against Hailey Bieber for launching her skincare range under an identical name. While expressing admiration for Bieber’s diligent work in attaining success, they deemed legal action necessary to defend their enterprise, representing years of dedication. “We did not desire this predicament,” they remarked, referring to the lawsuit against someone they respect; nonetheless, it became inevitable to guarantee protection for all that had been invested in crafting ‘Rhode’.

As women entrepreneurs themselves, they wish Hailey every success and have no intention of pursuing legal action against her. Instead, they hope she will comprehend the harm that using their brand name, ‘Rhode’, can inflict. They rebuffed her request for it four years ago due to the value it represents in terms of their labour and that of their employees, customers, and partners, who have all contributed to building the well-established company. Despite their confidence in a favourable outcome from any potential lawsuit, given Bieber’s extensive following, which could rapidly disseminate marketing materials beyond their control, they prioritise the recognition of their vision’s significance and the importance of safeguarding it moving forward.

Ms Khatau and Ms Vickers have embarked on legal proceedings against Justin Bieber’s brand to forestall its usage of the Rhode moniker, which has the potential to sow confusion among consumers. Thus far, neither party has issued a response to the matter. In a recent interview with Forbes magazine concerning her incursion into the realm of skincare amidst the pandemic, Bieber divulged her longstanding desire to venture into this particular domain: “Ever since my teenage years, I have adhered to a disciplined and regimented skincare routine; consequently, when an opportunity manifested itself amid the myriad alterations engendered by COVID-19, it created a void in my schedule that facilitated my immersion into a subject that has captivated me ever since.” She further expounded on her belief that exceptional makeup is predicated upon a luminous skincare regimen: “I derive immense pleasure from exploring beauty products encompassing hair care and body care, yet I ultimately gravitate towards high-quality skincare as the genesis of all things aesthetic – vibrant, healthy skin is the bedrock upon which our radiance is constructed.”

After several years spent modelling, Tricia resolved to actualise her aspirations and inaugurate her brand. Skincare emerged as the optimal starting point, given her extensive experience garnered through her work before the lens.