The Kardashians’ Signature “K” Might be in Double Trouble!! he Kardashian sisters recently launched a new cosmetics line and selected “KHROMA BEAUTY BY KOURTNEY, KIM AND KHLOE” as their trademark. However, there are two other cosmetic brands that use a similar mark – “CHROMA” and “KROMA.” The Kard- ashians were asked by each to change their mark, but upon failed attempts to reach any solutions, legal actions were initiated. Chroma makeup studio is located in Beverly Hills and is owned by Michael Rey. Rey filed for trademark infringement on November 19, 2012 in the Central District of California. The action was filed against Boldface Licensing + Branding, Inc., who holds the licensing rights to the Kardashian sisters’ names and likenesses. Rey asserts that he has worked twelve hard years to build his brand, which now includes A-list clientele. He contends that the Kardashians’ line will cheapen his products and create confusion in the marketplace because the simple letter change is not enough to distinguish the two cosmetic lines. Boldface filed their answer, which denies that “CHROMA” has common law trademark ownership rights that extend
nationwide or that the alleged mark is strong enough and well known in the Los Angeles area. Boldface commenced a second action against Lee Tillett, owner of Kroma Makeup, on November 30, 2012 in the Central District of California. Boldface is seeking a declaratory judgment that the use of trademarks incorporating “KHROMA” does not infringe any of Tillett’s trademark rights for “KROMA.” Tillett filed an answer and counterclaim for trademark infringement, false designation of origin, California trademark infringement and unfair competition. Tillett alleges that this action arises out of the intentional, willful, malicious and oppressive conduct of Boldface in disregarding Tillett’s rights. Tillett further alleges that “KHROMA” was advertised and promoted in a way to saturate the market and potential customers are likely to be misled that “KROMA” is associated with the Kardashian sisters. Tillett’s demand for relief is Boldface’s profits and treble, corrective advertising and punitive damages. Attorneys for both the Kardashians and Boldface assert that all necessary filings were made in order to obtain the rights to use “KHROMA.” However, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records indicate that the examining attorney issued an office action on September 26, 2012, which required Boldface to address the likelihood of consumer confusion with the “KROMA” mark. The examining attorney found that “KHROMA” is almost identical in appearance and pronunciation is the same as “KROMA.” The additional wording in the “KHROMA” mark fails to distinguish the mark from “KROMA.” It was further found that both brands’ goods are cosmetics and are presumed to move in all normal channels of trade. Boldface was given six months to present arguments in support of their registration for “KHROMA” by addressing the issue of consumer confusion. It is uncertain at this time how these issues will unfold since no trial dates have been scheduled. There have been no indications of settlements. The Kardashians have made no indications that they will change their mark, as products are already being sold online and advertised with the “KHROMA” mark.