Despite the Federal Trade Commission complaint that Truth in Advertising, Inc. will likely file against the Kardashian/Jenners this week for their nearly uniform practice of failing to disclose sponsored social media posts, the reality television family has been handed a preliminary victory in connection with the impending rival lawsuits over the Kardashian Beauty collection.
You may recall that in July, Los Angeles-based cosmetics retailer, Haven Beauty, launched a new collection, entitled, Kardashian Beauty. The collection makes use of the reality television sisters' names and faces on its website, but according to the Kardashians, they are not associated with the collection. The sisters and Haven - the latter of which was intended to be a joint venture between Hillair Capital Management LLC, Kardashian Beauty's principal investor, and the Kardashians - have filed rival trademark lawsuits in the Central District Court of California, a federal court in Los Angeles. Haven is seeking upwards of $10 million.
Well, as of this week, Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian have been handed a favorable ruling in the form of a preliminary injunction. Ruling on the Kardashians’ motion for a preliminary injunction – a temporary order made by a court at the request of one party that prevents the other party from pursuing a particular course of conduct until the conclusion of a trial on the merits – Judge James V. Selna held that the “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.”
For the uninitiated, a party seeking a preliminary injunction ordinarily must show: (1) a likelihood of irreparable harm in the absence of the injunction; and (2) either a likelihood of success on the merits or sufficiently serious questions going to the merits to make them a fair ground for litigation, with a balance of hardships tipping decidedly in the movant’s favor. The court held that the Kardashians’ counsel met both of the aforementioned prongs.
The preliminary injunction ruling requires Haven Beauty, its officers, employees, attorneys, and those acting in concert with them to immediately cease all use of the Kardashians’ trademarks, likenesses or images in connection with any goods or services for the duration of the litigation, at which time the court may permanently ban Haven from using the reality television stars’ intellectual property by way of a permanent injunction. This case is far from over.
UPDATE (8/25/16): Hillair has filed to appeal Judge Selna's preliminary injunction ruling. According to the docket for the Central District Court of California, "the opening brief and excerpts of record are due no later than September 22, 2016," meaning that Hillair - the appellant - will have to file its brief, setting forth the nature of the appeal; specifying the judgment; and explaining why the order is appealable.