When you walk through a cosmetics store, the sheer number of brands and variations on packaging can be overwhelming. Translate that into the volume of intellectual property that brand owners must protect in the marketplace and there are certainly going to be disputes.
In November, Mary Kay, the cosmetics company known for its use of individual consultant-marketers, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Ulta over the mark “LASH LOVE” in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
According to The Fashion Law, the suit alleges that Mary Kay has sold mascara under this brand since it registered the trademark in 2011 and that Ulta began to use it for mascara using “Lash Love.” Mary Kay also argues that the use of “LASH LOVE” on a pink box is further evidence of an effort to pass off the mascara as coming from Mary Kay, not Ulta, because pink is Mary Kay’s signature color.
After allegedly receiving no substantive response to a cease-and-desist letter requesting that Ulta stop using the mark, Mary Kay filed suit. The plaintiff argued that the failure to respond (other than just an acknowledgment) shows conduct that is “knowing, intentional, willful, malicious, and wanton … caus[ing] irreparable harm to Mary Kay’s reputation, goodwill, business relationships, intellectual property, and brand integrity.”
Mary Kay is asking for a court order (injunction) that Ulta stop using the mark and for money damages, including punitive damages, which are meant to punish a wrongdoer and act as a deterrent to others that might engage in similar conduct.
This lawsuit is being discussed in the media. We will report back on further developments.