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Hard Candy Files Suit Against P&G for Katy Perry CoverGirl Branding

The lawsuit alleges trademark infringement.

Hard Candy LLC is alleging Procter & Gamble’s Katy Perry CoverGirl collection infringed on its trademarks in a recently filed lawsuit.

Hard Candy filed the suit against P&G on July 18 for trademark infringement and unfair competition, saying that the firm’s Katy Perry CoverGirl products use a “confusingly similar design mark” to Hard Candy products. Both lines feature a heart design set between words on packaging.

“Hard Candy design marks are fanciful or at least suggestive marks, and as such are inherently distinctive,” Hard Candy’s lawyers said in court papers. “Alternatively, there is no question that Plaintiff’s Hard Candy Design Marks have acquired a secondary meaning from its continuous use of the trademarks in interstate commerce, and the public’s association of the Hard Candy design marks within its business.”

“The design of the infringing products, named Katy Perry CoverGirl, is confusingly similar to the Hard Candy design marks,” the company continued. “Defendant’s activities are likely to lead the buying public to incorrectly conclude that defendant’s infringing products originate with, are authorized by, or are associated with plaintiff’s Hard Candy brand, which plaintiff has been building since 1995.”

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Hard Candy is asking for a judgment that would bar CoverGirl from advertising, promoting or selling products with symbols that resemble the Hard Candy Design marks, as well as damages.

CoverGirl said in a statement: “This exclusive collection was independently designed including every element — formula, shades, packaging and names. Hard Candy and CoverGirl use completely different trademarks, including their own distinctive brand names, and consumers are not likely to be confused by the decorative use of a basic heart icon, which is inspired by the common, universally understood heart icon used frequently as an emoji. We did not take inspiration from Hard Candy, and CoverGirl intends to vigorously defend against the allegations.”

CoverGirl is one beauty brand Coty is buying from P&G. That deal, expected to close in October, includes 40 other brands. The Katy Perry CoverGirl line launched in July.