We told you last week that Los Angeles-based Chroma Makeup Studio co-owner Michael Rey spoke out about the Kardashian sisters stealing his thunder with their brand new Khroma Beauty. Rey has not initiated legal action just yet, but has threatened to bring a trademark infringement (and potentially a trademark dilution) lawsuit if necessary. He also emailed a letter to Chroma customers and posted it to Chroma's site with some choice words about Khroma. Some excerpts: Chroma “has a long-standing reputation for high quality colour line cosmetics and services and is NOT endorsing low budget cosmetic products that will be sold in mass retail outlets.”
Now, Nicole Ostoya, the CEO of Boldface Licensing + Branding, the co. in charge of the Kardashians' collection has spoken out. Ostoya said: "We do not believe that there is any likelihood of confusion given that Khroma Beauty by Kourtney, Kim and Khloé is clearly marketed together with the famous Kardashian brand name and will be sold with singular and distinctive trade dress." (It's pretty cute that she refers to trade dress in than manner, considering it is easily one of the most difficult forms of protection to obtain as it only applies to the packaging and/or appearance of a good that has achieved such a high level of distinctiveness that it has "secondary meaning" in the mind the consumer. A few examples: a Hermes Birkin bag, the grill of a Rolls-Royce and the shape of the Coca-Cola bottle). So, sayint that the Kardashian "K" or whatever "distinctive" packaging amounts to trade dress protection at this point in time is quite a weak argument.
Further, the Boldface CEO said the licensing company obtained the rights to use the Khroma Beauty name in the color cosmetics category by filing “proper legal” documents with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Sure, they filed a trademark application with the USPTO, but a pending application doesn't really give you many rights in court if another entity has a similar federally registered mark in cosmetics. Just a thought.