Hailey Bieber's New Skincare Brand Rhode Faces Trademark Lawsuit
By Mona Khalifeh
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Hailey Bieber is facing a trademark lawsuit against her skincare company, rhode. According to new docs obtained by ET, RHODE filed a trademark lawsuit against Bieber's company, claiming that her new brand is "trademark-infringing" and will "quickly swamp" their company's "market presence, confuse the marketplace and ultimately destroy the goodwill and reputation of the RHODE brand."
RHODE, a clothing and lifestyle brand was started in 2014 by Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers, with its clothing having been worn by celebrities such as Beyoncé, Tracee Ellis Ross and Lupita Nyong'o.
In the suit, Khatau and Vickers argue that the new brand rhode, Bieber's recently released skincare line named after her middle name, is "built upon Ms. Bieber’s already immense celebrity status and massive fan following," and that RHODE will get lost in the mix were the two brands to co-exist.
The business owners also claim that Bieber "previously sought to acquire the RHODE mark, appreciating that the brands could not coexist without confusion. Given the sacrifices they had made to build the brand, Khatau and Vickers refused."
Khatau and Vickers said the brand is their most important asset and argued that Bieber could "leverage her fame into success with a differently-branded beauty line," but claim she "apparently does not care that two other women entrepreneurs have been using the RHODE brand name for years."
They are asking that the court restrain Bieber from using the trademarked name rhode for her products, to destroy all marketing materials for rhode, to recall all rhode products, for Bieber to report all profits she made from rhode, for RHODE to be compensated for legal fees and damages. They are also asking for this case to go to trial.
The brand also released a statement regarding the lawsuit on Instagram, writing, "Nine years ago, we quit our jobs and founded Rhode out of our apartment, creating a fashion company from nothing. We’re two women entrepreneurs who met in college, built the RHODE brand, and put years of hard work into our minority co-owned company," the note from Khatau and Vickers began.
"Today, we were forced to file a lawsuit against Hailey Bieber and her new skin-care line that launched last week and that is using the brand 'rhode.' We didn’t want to file this lawsuit, but we had to in order to protect our business," the note stressed.
While they said they admired the 25-year-old model, they stressed that she could've used any brand for her skin-care line, and in using the same name, she is "hurting" the company, employees, customers and partners.
"We admire Hailey. She has worked hard and earned the ability to create her own skin-care line. We don’t want to sue Hailey; we want to celebrate her. As fellow women entrepreneurs, we wish her every success," they continued. "Hailey could choose any brand for her skin-care line. We have only the brand name “RHODE” that we’ve built. That’s why we didn’t sell her our brand when she asked four years ago, and why we ask her now to change her skin-care line’s brand. Her using our brand is hurting our company, our employees, our customers, and our partners."
Khaau and Vickers said they're confident in the lawsuit's outcome, though it's something they said they didn't want to have to do, and thanked their followers for their support.
"We’re confident in the lawsuit’s outcome, but we hope Hailey will now understand the harm we’re sure she never meant to cause and change her skin-care line’s brand. Thank you to everyone for valuing our vision and supporting us," the brand's founders said, concluding their statement.
Bieber, who has yet to publicly comment on the suit, launched her skin-care line, rhode, on June 15.