Get ready for another round of Celebrity Name Game, as two brands battle over who gets to use their own moniker, in the latest David and Goliath trademark fight.
This time, it’s Hailey Bieber who is being sued over the name of her new skincare line, Rhode.
Rhode is Hailey’s middle name … and also a successful American fashion label Rhode, which sells on high-end sites like Net-a-Porter.
Hailey has 45.5 million followers on Instagram, half a million of whom already follow her new skincare page, vs the fashion brand’s 198,000.
Co-founders Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers, who launched their label in 2014, released a statement this week.
“Today, we were forced to file a lawsuit against Hailey Bieber and her new skincare line that launched last week and that is using the brand Rhode,” they wrote on Instagram. They state Bieber attempted to buy their brand name.
“Hailey could choose any brand for her skincare line. We have only the brand name Rhode that we’ve built. That’s why we didn’t sell her our brand when she asked four years ago, and why we ask her now to change her skincare line’s brand.
“Her using our brand is hurting our company, our employees, our customers, and our partners.”
Would you Belieb it, it’s Kylie vs Kylie all over again, when our Kylie blocked Kylie Jenner from trademarking her first name, in a 2017 lawsuit.
She should be so lucky, Ms Minogue spun that idea right round, thank you very much and recently spoke about the court case.
“When I was named Kylie, I think I met one person older than me called Kylie. So, it’s kind of unusual,” she said on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.
“I’ve spent a lifetime protecting my brand and building my brand, so it was just something that had to be done.”
All may be fair in love and war, but it’s anyone’s game when it comes to names – especially when a celebrity decides they are the only one who can use it.
Beyonce has been locked in a long legal process to trademark her daughter Blue Ivy’s name, most recently winning against wedding-planning business Blue Ivy Events. Court documents refer to 10-year-old Blue Ivy as a “cultural icon” and “mini style star”.
Then there was my favourite court case, the nine-year-long fight between Argentinian footballer Lionel Messi and Spanish cycling company Massi.
The Messi/Massi melee got mucky and was finally resolved in 2020, when Messi was permitted to trademark his name. If only Oz’s Missy Higgins was involved, we could have had a trifecta.
I’m no intellectual property lawyer, but it seems to me sometimes big names trade on the fact they are the behemoth, therefore any minions with the same name must get out of the way – or call themselves Bob.
Thankfully, no one’s after my name – unless Kerry Parnell the US go-karter is revving up for action, so I’m free to launch all the perfume, skincare and fashion brands I please.