NEW YORK — Juicy Couture and Davidoff took the offensive against two big-name beauty product manufacturers they feel are out to profit on the success of their brands.
In a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court on Sept. 9, Juicy Couture Inc., which was acquired by Liz Claiborne Inc. in 2003, accused Paris-based Lancôme Parfums et Beaute & Cie of infringing on its trademark rights by selling cosmetics and fragrances using the Juicy name.
In a separate lawsuit, filed Sept. 14, Davidoff & Cie SA accused Inter Parfums Inc. and its subsidiary, Jean Philippe Fragrances LLC, of selling imitations of its Cool Water fragrance.
At issue for Juicy Couture is Lancôme’s use of names such as Juicy, Juicy Pop, Juicy Rouge and Juicy Wear on an array of products including cosmetics bags, lipstick, lip gloss and nail polish. Lancôme said in a statement that no objections were raised when it received federal registration for the trademark Juicy Tubes in 2000.
“We believe we have priority in the cosmetic field and that Juicy Couture’s plan for expansion into our category is the impetus for this action,” the statement said.
According to the complaint, Lancôme employed advertising techniques that Juicy Couture feels imitate its “own style of promotion,” causing confusion in the marketplace and potentially diluting sales. Background information offered in the complaint indicated that sales of Juicy Couture products had exceeded $100 million in wholesale over the past 12 months.
The suit pointed to the production and advertisement of Lancôme’s Juicy Wear line in particular as evidence of the company’s intent to confuse or deceive customers, a crucial element plaintiffs must prove in trademark violation cases.
“Lancôme’s introduction of a lip color and shine product duo under the mark Juicy Wear, a mark having obvious apparel connotations, further evidences Lancôme’s predatory intent to trade upon the goodwill and reputation of Juicy,” said the complaint. The complaint went on to say that Lancôme’s Juicy lip product had been sold with a promotional handbag made with a pink “suede-like material” with a brown vinyl handle and silver zippers. Juicy contends the bag is a copy of its pink terry cloth bag with a brown leather handle and a silver zipper.
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