The Kardashian sisters recently won a major lawsuit against Hillair Capital and Haven Beauty, companies that ran a line of cosmetics called Kardashian Beauty. They claim that the company had been using their trademarks even after the two sides no longer had an agreement allowing them to do so.
There was an initial agreement in place, but things broke down and it was breached. At that point, the sisters argued that the trademarks should no longer have been used, and a judge sided with them.
The reasons for the breakdown could be complicated, as both sides are telling a different story. According to Haven Beauty, the Kardashians were simply displeased by the agreement, even though they'd signed it. They also didn't like the terms they'd settled with Hillair, which financed the line. Because of this displeasure, the company says the sisters made up fictional issues and contract breaches to get out of the agreement.
However, the sisters claim that the breaches were real and had nothing to do with their being displeased with the terms. They say they were supposed to be paid a specific amount in royalties -- the reason they agreed to the use of the trademarks in the first place -- and that they weren't paid.
The judge didn't pick a side in that argument but simply said the company acted improperly by withholding royalties and using the trademark at the same time. They should have either stopped using it when they stopped paying, or they should have kept paying and started a different suit to seek damages.
As this case shows, it's crucial for companies that are using trademarks to know exactly what power that gives them. Even in a dispute, regardless of which side is telling the truth, companies must act within the law and the terms of the agreement.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter, "Kardashians in Kourt: Sisters Win Injunction in Cosmetics Lawsuit," Ashley Cullins, Aug. 23, 2016
The author's opinions expressed in this article are strictly his/her own and should not be attributed to any others, including other attorneys at Klein DeNatale Goldner or the law firm as a whole.