Monday, August 17, 2009

Stella Nude


I stumbled upon this 1975 photo of a three year old Stella McCartney (taken by photographer Norman Parkinson), who is currently engaged in a legal battle over her right to name her new perfume Stella Nude. Apparently, Bono's wife, Ali Hewson, who runs the Nude skin care line has found her inner Laurice Rahme and is trying to claim ownership of the word Nude(in perfume or in cosmetics?). Is she aware that Bijan and Bill Blass also have perfumes called Nude? And what about Bobbi Brown's Nude Collection?
Will this picture help Stella in court?

photo from ana-lee.livejournal.com

5 comments:

  1. It certainly does help McCartney's case that there are already two "Nude" perfumes out on the market, and I'd forgotten about Bobbi Brown's "Nude" collection.

    If McCartney's lawyers can show that the Nude SkinCare people are not enforcing their trademark rights equally, or that other companies have used "Nude" as product names before "Nude Skincare" was trademarked, then McCartney could walk out of this battle a winner.

    The one issue is that legal challenges are expensive, and Hewson may just be looking for a quick payoff to shut-up and go away. It's generally easier and more cost-effective for companies to "settle" a case (i.e. pay someone to go away) than it is to take it all the way through to court.

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  2. there's a great article about the lawsuit over here: http://onthebutton.wordpress.com/2009/08/18/nude-vs-nude/ worth a read for those of you interested in the debate

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  3. Nathan, the thing I don't get here is why do they think it matters. It's not like McCartney has taken their name. She didn't even name the perfume "Nude" like the Bill Blass or Bijan. It's "Stella Nude", which makes a world of difference.

    Maybe it really is all about the settlement. I probbaly should trademark my name and wait for someone rich to try and use it. Sooner or later someone might want to name a perfume or a skin care line "Gaia"...

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  4. One of the disadvantages of having a trademark is that should anyone use something similar, you're pretty much required to file a lawsuit in order to protect your rights, otherwise you lose any and all legitimate claims to your trademark in future cases.

    I don't know why Nude Skincare hasn't filed suit against previous users of the word "nude" in cosmetics and beauty products. Perhaps the use predates the Nude Skincare trademark? But that also poses a problem for Nude Skincare, in that there's previous usage, which kind of undercuts the power of their trademark.

    At least in the U.S.

    I don't know how British courts deal with trademark issues, but it might be different from U.S. trademark law. I'm fairly certain that Nude Skincare doesn't really stand a chance in this lawsuit, especially due to all the previous usage of "nude" in beauty products, but as I mentioned before, they're pretty much obligated to file a lawsuit regarding Stella Nude or they run the risk of passively losing their trademark rights.

    But trademark lawsuits can drag on for years and cost millions of dollars. It all depends on who blinks first, and if Nude Skincare can win an injunction preventing the release of Stella Nude while they do their legal wrangling, then a settlement could happen very quickly.

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