Monday, November 5, 2012

Kardashian Khroma Chroma Trademark Infringement

The Kardashians already had to deal with being accused of copyright infringement with their purse line, Kardashian Kollection. Now, just last week, Chroma Makeup Studios publicly denounced the Kardashians’ upcoming makeup line “Khroma Beauty by Kourtney, Kim & Khloe.” The Chroma Makeup Studios website’s home page is currently a long letter to its loyal fans declaring that it is in no way, shape, or form associated with the Kardashians. Further, it states a little blurb about the Federal trademark law and how the founders, Lisa Casino and Michael Rey III are “taking all appropriate steps to defend its reputation and the 12 years of goodwill [they] have built under the CHROMA MAKEUP STUDIO trademark.” But are these statements enough?

Oddly, after searching the USPTO, we were unable to find any registered or currently pending applications for Chroma Makeup Studio, under its business name or its other marks in which they claim trademark rights for including Chroma Colour, Croma Makeup Studio, Colour-Purity-You. But not surprisingly, the Kardashians have filed multiple applications for variations of KHROMA BEAUTY BY KOURTNEY, KIM, & KHLOE incorporating the “Khroma” mark.

We’re not clear why Chroma has not filed any applications as far as we can tell, and we won’t speculate either. However, without a registered trademark enforcement of their mark will be a bit trickery against the Kardashian’s. With that said, the question still remains – is the Kardashian’s “KHROMA” mark likely to confuse consumers or otherwise infringe upon the “CHROMA” mark? Maybe, maybe not, that would be up to a jury to decide. But even without a registered trademark, if the Chroma Makeup Studio’s letter to its fans were true, in that their customers are already confused, it could provide a strong basis for Chroma.

But another sticky issue that Chroma may have to deal with are the other companies like Revlon that have used the term Chroma, such as, “Revlon Chroma Chameleon” and “Chroma Luminescent” (Mana Products, Inc.). Why do so many cosmetic companies use the word “chroma”? Not sure, maybe, “chroma” has to do with the quality of a color or the “saturation” of a hue? With that said, it then seems appropriate that “chroma” has been used in connection with cosmetics, hair color, and paints. So, perhaps, the Kardashians may have a defense there.