Kylie Jenner is not only building her net worth thanks to her wildly-successful foray into cosmetics, she is in the process of building up her portfolio of trademarks. The youngest member of the Kardashian/Jenner family has a handful of registered trademarks to her arsenal and is hoping to add almost a dozen more for everything from her “Kylie Jenner Merch” and “Kylie Jenner Truck” for use in connection with retail store services to “Kylie Skin by Kylie Jenner” for use on moisturizers, cleaners, cosmetics, and other related products. The problem? The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has said “no way” to registering the latter mark … at least for right now.
According to a preliminary refusal issued by the USPTO last week in response to Jenner’s pending application for registration for the “Kylie Skin by Kylie Jenner” mark, Jenner cannot claim exclusive rights in the word “Skin.” The USPTO’s examining attorney, Mark Sparacino, states that while “the applied-for mark as a whole appears to be registrable,” Jenner’s use of the word “Skin” without any disclaimer language is problematic as “at best, ‘Skin’ is merely descriptive of an ingredient, quality, characteristic, function, feature, purpose, or use of [the goods at issue],” i.e., a skincare line.
As such, if Jenner wants the USPTO to issue her a registration for what appears to the latest venture in her budding billion dollar beauty venture, she needs to make a small change to her application.
Despite click-worthy headlines declaring that Jenner’s “New Skincare Line Might Not Make It Off the Ground” or that her new endeavor is “in danger of Getting Burned,” as a result of trademark troubles, the fix here is extremely simple. As the USPTO suggests, Jenner’s legal counsel must merely respond to the examining attorney’s letter within 6 months and add some language to make clear that Jenner is not seeking to claim exclusive rights in the word “Skin” on its own. The USPTO suggests “submitting a disclaimer in the following format: ‘No claim is made to the exclusive right to use ‘SKIN’ apart from the mark as shown’” in order to remedy the issue.
In other words, it is likely just a question of when Kylie Skin — which will join her $800 million Kylie Cosmetics empire, a venture that has been widely regarded as “one of the fastest growing beauty brands ever” — will hit shelves.