THE FASHION LAW EXCLUSIVE — Want hair like a Kardashian/Jenner? SugarBearHair can help you with that. Thanks to a slew of paid-for social media posts from the mega-famous sisters and other celebrities over the past several years, Florida-based BeSweet Creations, LLC, the maker of SugarBearHair vitamins has become synonymous with its legally-protected robin’s egg blue gummy vitamins and unsurprisingly, rivals are looking to cash in on the company’s “past advertising and fame” by way of lookalike products and copycat packaging.
According to a complaint filed this week in a federal court in southern Florida, BeSweet alleges that Trureflections, Inc. is on the hook for “willfully, intentionally, and deliberately” attempting to “profit from the name, reputation, and advertising” of BeSweet’s SugarBearHair brand. To be exact, Trureflections is actively copying the “appearance” of the SugarBearHair vitamins, namely, “the shape of a bear presented in [a] blue color,” for which BeSweet maintains federal trademark protection.
The barely 4-year old Instagram-famous company – which was reported to have shelled out $316,182 in March 2018, alone, to influencers to promote its products on social media – also claims that Texas-based Trureflections has replicated the design of its “decorative bottle” in order to “sell and advertise and its imitation vitamin products.”
BeSweet states that since 2015, it has consistently used the blue bear design and its proprietary packaging – i.e., a “clear bottle having a white top and a light blue label” including the words “HAIR” and “VITAMINS” in white, “capitalized in a relatively mid-sized font” and “a white rectangular block positioned under the word “VITAMINS” – throughout the U.S. “to identify its line of vitamin products, including a Hair Vitamin formulation product, and to distinguish its vitamin products from other products on the market.”
As a result (and with the help of the Kardashian/Jenners, Emily Ratajkowski, Bella Thorne, Vanessa Hudgens, and countless Bachelor contestants, among others), consumers have come to identify the widely-advertised blue gummy vitamins and the aforementioned product packaging with the SugarBearHair brand. Upon encountering “the similarities in the trade dress and the identical vitamin appearance” of Trureflections’ offerings, consumers “are likely to believe that [Trureflections] and its imitation vitamin product are … associated with and/or affiliated with [BeSweet],” when that is not the case.”
BeSweet asserts that “Trureflections’ products are not associated with [its brand], and the lookalike products are, instead, “potentially hazardous and/or ineffective imitations.”
With the foregoing in mind, BeSweet asserts claims of trademark infringement and false designation of origin, seeking monetary damages, including the cost of “corrective advertising,” and injunctive relief, the latter of which would serve to immediately and permanently bar Trureflections from selling any infringing products.”
Moreover, BeSweet wants the court to force Trureflections to identify “every purchaser of a product that displays any mark belonging to [BeSweet] that was sold,” and to also identify all of the entities with which it does business and “inform them in writing that they must immediately cease … the manufacture, distribution, importation, marketing, advertising, and sale of any vitamin products using [BeSweet’s trademarks, trade dress, or any confusingly similar designation.”
And still yet, BeSweet wants the court to compel Trureflections to provide it with “all packaging, literature, advertising and other [infringing] materials in its possession” for destruction.
*The case is BeSweet Creations, LLC v. Trureflections, Inc., 0:19-cv-60490 (S.D. Fla).