Katy Perry is at the center of a multi-million-dollar trademark lawsuit in connection with her makeup collection, Teenage Dream. According to a complaint filed last week in federal court in Florida by Florida-based cosmetics brand, Hard Candy, the packaging for singer Katy Perry’s line of CoverGirl makeup infringes its own trademark. In particular, Hard Candy claims that the heart icon that Procter & Gamble Co. – Cover Girl’s parent company – uses on packaging for Perry’s makeup collection resembles the one that it started using when it was founded in 1995.
Hard Candy, a teen-focused brand that stocks at Wal-Mart, further claims that P&G began using the heart icon with the Perry line this spring “in an improper attempt to confuse consumers and to feed off [Hard Candy’s] success.” According to the complaint, P&G engaged in unfair competition by infringing Hard Candy’s trademark, particularly because consumers are likely to be confused into believing the parties are in some way affiliated. Per Hard Candy, the two brands offer products that sell for similar price points, and the Perry line also targets the same or similar customers. Walmart, for instance, simultaneously stocks both the Hard Candy collection, as well as Katy Perry’s line.
As a result, Hard Candy has asked the court to prohibit P&G from selling products bearing the allegedly infringing trademark and is seeking all profits from P&G’s sales of the Katy Perry line, as well as punitive damages in an amount to be proven at trial and attorney fees.
“CoverGirl intends to vigorously defend against the allegations,” said Tressie Rose, a spokeswoman for P&G. “The heart icon is a common, universally understood symbol that is often used in texting and social media. We did not take inspiration from Hard Candy but from a common icon that does not belong to any party.”