Three-Headed Kardashian Monster Attempts to Gulp Down Cosmetics Trademark

Like the ancient Greek Hydra, the Kardashian sisters are a kind of three-headed monster in the celebrity world. The Greek analogy is relevant because the Kardashian sisters have been accused of some monstrous Greek infringement. A make-up artist recently accused the Kardashian sisters of infringing her Kroma mark, "kroma" being the Greek word for "color."

As reported by the Orlando Sentinel and the Huffington Post, Lee Tillett, last week, sued the Kardashian sisters, alleging they infringed her Kroma makeup line. The Kardashians have a line of cosmetics called Khroma with an "h". Tillett is seeking $10 million in damages.

Tillett is responding to a November lawsuit filed by the Kardashians' licensee, Boldface Licensing Branding. In that lawsuit, Boldface is seeking a declaratory judgment of non-infringement.

"Consumers ... immediately associate Boldface's Goods offered under the KHROMA BEAUTY BY KOURTNEY, KIM AND KHLOE mark with the Kardashians and Boldface," Boldface argues, "eliminating any possible confusion with other potentially similar marks, including the Tillett's Marks ...."

Boldface goes on to describe Tillett's Kroma mark as a descriptive term, it being the Greek word for "color." Thus, Boldface argues, the mark lacks any inherently distinctive meaning and is conceptually weak.

"Tillett's KROMA mark is also commercially weak," Boldface continues, "due to the widespread third party uses of marks that are phonetically identical and visually similar to cosmetic and beauty related goods and services."

Boldface lists the third-party uses of "Croma" and "Chroma."

Tillet counters by pointing out that two years prior to Khroma's launch, she and Kim Kardashian's rep discussed a product placement deal and Kroma's alignment with Kim Kardashian for certain public appearances. She also notes that the USPTO rejected Boldface's trademark registration on the basis of confusion with the Kroma mark.

"[Defendants] have so saturated the market," Tillet argues, "that potential customers are likely to be misled into thinking that Tillet's cosmetic line originates from Boldface, and that Tillett's Kroma® mark is associated with the Kardashian Sisters."

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