L'Oréal USA Creative Inc. filed a suit against Zotos International Inc., a hair care product manufacturer and subsidiary of Shiseido Co. Ltd., for alleged trademark infringement.
According to court documents filed on April 18 in a Manhattan federal court, L'Oréal claimed Zotos adopted and is using packaging and trade dress that is nearly identical to the Skyscrape trade dress of L'Oréal's Redken brand.
Specifically, L'Oréal charged that the similarities include bottle design simulating a skyscraper, color schemes and black bottle cap, and the commercial impression of New York City and the New York City skyline. L'Oréal said it spent about $650,000 in design efforts for its Redken trade dress and that since 2002 the company has invested $89 million in promoting the line of products sold using the skyscraper trade dress.
L'Oréal said the use of the packaging and trade dress will likely confuse consumers and cause irreparable harm to the company, and that Zotos' actions "are deliberate, willful and designed to reap the benefits of L'Oréal's substantial investment in the research and development of its products and packaging." It also said both products are sold to consumers through "professional hair and beauty salons and professional beauty supply stores."
L'Oréal asked the court for an injunction and monetary relief.
Zotos was unavailable for comment.
In other L'Oréal news, L'Oréal USA has promoted two key executives, one in its consumer products unit and the other within L'Oréal Paris.
David Waldock has been named to the newly created position of senior vice president of business and sales development for the Consumer Products Division. Waldock, a 20-year veteran of L'Oréal, will report to Joesph J. Campinell, president of the division. In the new role, Waldock will develop business strategies for the division's various brands, which include L'Oréal Paris and Maybelline-Garnier, and will leverage brand resources, institute new merchandising strategies and build customer-focused partnerships.
Also, Lorraine Coyle has been named vice president of sales for the L'Oréal Paris brand, replacing Waldock. She was previously vice president, national sales manager, L'Oréal Paris. She will report to Carol Hamilton, president of L'Oréal Paris. Prior to joining L'Oréal in 2000, Coyle held senior level management positions with major retailers, including Eckerd Drug Stores. Jacquelyn Madsen will assume Coyle's prior role and will report to Coyle.— Jeanine Poggi, with contributions from Andrea Nagel
Tanning Firm Fake Bake Sold
LONDON — Fake Bake has a new owner. Sandra McClumpha, the self-tanning brand's distributor in the U.K., has bought out its founders, Joe and Mary Cooper, in a deal valued at more than 10 million pounds, or $20 million at current exchange.
Fake Bake, which was based in Dallas, will now have its headquarters in Glasgow. McClumpha, who has become the brand's largest shareholder, teamed with an unnamed investor for the acquisition.
McClumpha, who acquired the U.K. rights to the 10-year-old brand in 2001, plans to expand its distribution network in Europe, including Russia, plus Australia and China, the company stated.
"It has been a long, hard but enjoyable road to establish Fake Bake as a market leader in the U.K., and now [the acquisition] feels like the most natural step to take," stated McClumpha. "I am now determined to grow Fake Bake internationally."
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