Hailey Bieber’s new skincare line is facing a lawsuit alleging trademark infringement.
Bieber, 25, just launched her company on June 15. Named “Rhode”, which is Bieber’s middle name, the brand is being sued by another company of the same name. As TMZ reports, the clothing company Rhode NYC claims that Bieber and her business are harming their brand by using the same name.
In the lawsuit, Rhode NYC founders and holders of the “RHODE” trademark Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers say they were approached by Bieber four years ago with an offer to purchase the brand name but they turned her down.
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In the legal docs, the Rhode NYC owners go on to say that the logo for Bieber’s company looks similar to their own and that people online are already confused by the two businesses sharing the same name, with people mistakenly tagging the model’s company rather than theirs.
Khatau and Vickers want a judge to force Bieber’s business to change its name.
Meanwhile, a source connected to Bieber’s company told TMZ that she owns the “RHODE” trademark for skincare whereas Khatau and Vickers only own the trademark for clothing. That same source underscored that “Rhode” is part of Bieber’s legal name.
Shortly after news of the lawsuit broke, Khatau and Vickers posted a statement on their company’s Instagram account, echoing much of what they stated in the court docs. “Nine years ago, we quit our jobs and founded Rhode out of our apartment, creating a fashion company from nothing,” they wrote. “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.”
“Today, we were forced to file a lawsuit against Hailey Bieber and her new skin-care line that launched last week and that is using the brand ‘rhode’. We didn’t want to file this lawsuit, but we had to in order to protect our business.”
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The women said that they “admire Hailey,” noting that “she has worked hard and earned the ability to create her own skin-care line.”
“We don’t want to sue Hailey; we want to celebrate her,” they added. “As fellow women entrepreneurs, we wish her every success.”
However, the design duo insists that Bieber should have chosen a different name for her company. “Hailey could choose any brand for her skin-care line,” they explained. “We have only the brand name ‘RHODE’ that we’ve built. That’s why we didn’t sell her our brand when she asked four years ago, and why we ask her now to change her skin-care line’s brand. Her using our brand is hurting our company, our employees, our customers, and our partners.”
“We’re confident in the lawsuit’s outcome,” the statement continued, “but we hope Hailey will now understand the harm we’re sure she never meant to cause and change her skin-care line’s brand. Thank you to everyone for valuing our vision and supporting us.”