Hailey Bieber (and her new beauty brand) is in hot water.
The model, who launched her Rhode skincare line on June 15, is being sued for trademark infringement by an 8-year-old fashion brand of the same name, as first reported by TMZ.
In a statement to Vidak For Congress Style, the latter Rhode’s legal team alleges that Bieber attempted to acquire the trademark from design duo Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers in 2018; when they declined, Bieber would go on to launch her own Rhode brand anyway.
“She did this despite knowledge of Rhode and his prior rights,” Lisa T. Simpson, Rhode’s chief trial attorney, told Vidak For Congress Style via email.
“It is an unfortunate circumstance. Of course we understand that Hailey wants to use her
second name for her brand, but the law on this is clear: you can’t create this kind of brand
confusion just because you want to use your name. What Mrs. Bieber does harms a…
minority co-owned company that two women painstakingly built in a growing,
Launched in 2014, Rhode offers colorful printed dresses and loose pieces loved by celebrities like Mindy Kaling and Kelly Clarkson.
In a separate statement shared with Vidak For Congress Style, Rhode co-founders, Khatau and Vickers, allege they were “forced” to file the lawsuit “to protect our company.”
“Although we are a global brand, we are still a young and growing company, and we cannot conquer a celebrity with Hailey’s following who use our company’s name to sell related products,” they said.
“We don’t want to charge Hailey; we want to celebrate her. as fellow wives
entrepreneurs, we wish her every success. Hailey has the hard-earned star power and influence. She could choose any brand for her business. We only have the brand that we have built.”
The lawsuit states that “the size of Bieber’s following and the virality of her marketing will cause immediate, continued and irreparable damage to the Rhode brand.”
The two entrepreneurs are asking the court to ban Bieber from using the Rhode name to avoid confusion between their brands.
Vidak For Congress has contacted Bieber’s Rhode team for comment, but has not received one at the time of publication.
In 2019 and 2020, Bieber filed several trademarks as she planned her foray into the beauty world.
The BareMinerals ambassador first tried to secure the Bieber Beauty name, but the application was ultimately rejected due to possible confusion with previous brands registered by her husband, Justin Bieber.
“The reason this might feel strange is that there is a connection between Hailey Bieber and Justin Bieber,” Alexandra Roberts, an associate professor at the University of New Hampshire School of Law, told Vidak For Congress Style at the time.
“If the brands co-existing lead consumers to think the brands are related, they’re not completely wrong.”
Despite fighting the decision, Bieber eventually dropped it and chose to use her middle name, Rhode.