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Beauty Beat: Freeze Sue DermaFreeze … Sephora Exiting U.K.

NEW YORK — Freeze 24/7 International LLC — the makers of the antiwrinkle cream Freeze 24/7 — filed a complaint in New York federal court Thursday for trademark infringement against Woodridge Labs, which markets DermaFreeze365 in...

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NEW YORK — Freeze 24/7 International LLC — the makers of the antiwrinkle cream Freeze 24/7 — filed a complaint in New York federal court Thursday for trademark infringement against Woodridge Labs, which markets DermaFreeze365 in the mass retail channel. According to a statement from Freeze 24/7, Woodridge’s product “infringes, dilutes and misappropriates Freeze 24/7’s exceedingly strong and well-known Freeze 24/7 trademark in a manner that is likely to cause confusion, mistake and deception among consumers.”

“Without question, Freeze 24/7 has significantly established itself as the original, authentic antiaging solution that promises dramatic results within minutes,” Scott E. Gurfein, president and chief executive officer of Freeze 24/7, said in a statement. He added, “We take seriously any effort to dilute or diminish Freeze 24/7’s brand equity and innovative positioning.”

In response to the complaint, Woodridge’s legal counsel, Rod Berman, chairman of the intellectual property department at Jeffer Mangels Butler & Marmaro LLP, said he considers the complaint to be “completely frivolous” given the differences in DermaFreeze365’s packaging and marketing materials. He added the term “freeze” is commonly used in beauty marketing.

Freeze 24/7, which was honored with the Enterprising Beauty Award at the Cosmetic Executive Women 2005 Beauty Awards Friday afternoon (see chart on this page), launched its wrinkle-fighting skin cream and lip plumper in October. The Freeze 24/7 skin cream sells in specialty stores and upscale department stores for upward of $100. Woodridge Labs — a niche-focused company known for bringing skin care treatments from the dermatologist office to the mass market — introduced its $40 DermaFreeze365 at drugstores in February.
— Molly Prior

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Sephora Exiting U.K.

LONDON — Sephora, the French perfumery chain owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, is bowing out of the U.K.

The retailer, which launched its first British store five years ago at the Bluewater Mall in Kent, will close all nine of its U.K. stores by the end of May. Three stores have already closed, including the London flagship in Islington. The six stores still open are Bluewater in Kent, Southampton in Hampshire, Solihull in the west Midlands, Watford in Hertfordshire and Brent Cross and Kingston in London.

Prior to launching in the U.K., Sephora predicted it could open up to 50 stores in the British market within a few years.

While a company spokeswoman declined to comment on the retailer’s reasons for exiting the U.K. market, it has faced fierce competition from department stores and upmarket beauty retailers such as Space NK.
— Ellen Burney