Nepotism’s favourite baby, Hailey Bieber, has been cleared by a judge to continue using the name “Rhode” for her skincare brand as she fights accusations of trademark infringement. Somebody needs to get these celebrities a proper media team or something because this happens way more often than it should.
Hailey Bieber recently launched Rhode on June 15. Rhode is actually Hailey’s legal middle name, so it’s not like she plucked the word from the aether.
However a clothing brand with the same name, RHODE NYC, was founded in 2013 and is suing her for using their brand name.
According to legal documents obtained by the goss vultures at TMZ, Hailey apparently owns the RHODE trademark for skincare while the other RHODE owns the trademark for clothing.
However, the owners of RHODE NYC, Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers, reckon the two brands existing at the same time creates too much confusion. They also claim Hailey offered to buy the RHODE trademark off them four years ago but they refused.
“The magnitude of Bieber’s following and the virality of her marketing will cause immediate, ongoing and irreparable harm to the Rhode brand,” the legal documents read.
In a statement on Instagram, the co-owners of RHODE wrote that they didn’t particularly want to sue Hailey but they had to in order to protect their brand.
“Nine years ago, we quit our jobs and founded RHODE out of our apartment … 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,” they said.
“Hailey could choose any brand for her skin-care line. We have only the brand name “RHODE” that we’ve built.
“Her brand is hurting our company, our employees, our customers and our partners.”
“She did this despite knowing of RHODE and its prior rights,” lead litigation counsel for RHODE NYC, Lisa T. Simpson, told Page Six.
“It’s an unfortunate circumstance. We, of course, understand that Hailey wants to use her middle 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 Ms Bieber is doing is harming a minority co-owned business that two women have painstakingly built into a growing, global brand.”
Well, now Hailey Bieber has won a major victory against the brand. A judge has legally cleared her to launch Rhode and denied RHODE NYC’s motion for a preliminary injunction.
Hailey Bieber wasted no time in using Rhode’s newfound freedom, posting a documentary to its YouTube mere hours after the hearing. The video is titled “The Making of Rhode” and you bet her brand is taking advantage of the fact everyone’s probably googling it right now.
While this is a huge win for Hailey because her business is now up and running, the fight isn’t over for RHODE NYC.
A spokesperson for the jilted brand told TMZ their lawsuit is still going ahead.
“[The] court ruling is simply a decision by the judge not to prohibit Hailey Bieber’s skin care line from using our brand name while litigation proceeds, deferring the ruling until we have the opportunity to gather more evidence,” they said.
“It is exceedingly rare for a judge to issue the preliminary order we sought, and so we expected this outcome. We remain confident that we will win at trial.
“Rhode is our name and brand, we built it, and federal and state laws protect it.
“We ask Hailey to achieve her goals without using the brand name we have spent the last nine years building.”