The Eleventh Circuit recently denied the Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney Kardashian’s (the “Kardashians”) motion to compel arbitration related to a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by upscale cosmetics company, By Lee Tillett (“Tillett”). The parties are now set to litigate the matter in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Tillet produces and markets the high-end cosmetic line, Kroma EU. In an effort to break into the U.S. market, Tillet sent a basket of Kroma products to Kim Kardashian. Soon after receiving the Tillet gift, according to the complaint, the Kardashians marketed their own makeup line under the Khroma name. Tillett contended that the Kardashians hijacked the Kroma name, causing wide-spread consumer confusion.
Takeaway: Companies looking to market products in the foreign jurisdictions by sending those products to celebrities should take caution to ensure their intellectual property rights are protected in the jurisdiction before sending the products.