Brazenly stealing a beauty product name that doesn’t belong to them has landed the Kardashian clan in legal trouble again.
A judge has ruled that all of the Kardashians “Khroma” beauty products be removed immediately from 5,321 retail stores because they’re being sold under a stolen name, as reported on March 15 by numerous media outlets including Entertainmentwise, Us magazine, Opposing Views, and Popular Critic.
Kim Kardashian and her sisters, Kourtney and Khloe deliberately stole the name “Khroma” from Lee Tillett’s company which has been doing business under the name “Kroma Make-Up” ( without the “h”) for the past 12 years, and attempted to run Tillett’s business into the ground.
Now the Kardashian sisters are involved in a lawsuit in which millions of dollars are at stake.
Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian received a trademark rejection letter from the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, and a cease-and-desist letter from Lee Tillett’s attorney regarding the use of the name “Khroma Beauty.”
The Kardashian sisters blatantly ignored these warnings because they were determined to have the name “Khroma” for themselves.
Brazen Theft of Another Company’s Idea and Name
This was by no means a coincidence, or a simple case of mistaken identity. The Kardashian sisters were fully aware that the name “Kroma” belonged to someone else.
In fact, the idea to develop a line of beauty products with the name “Khroma” “suddenly occurred” to Kim and her sisters, after seeing several products from Lee Tillett’s Kroma Make-Up.
It all started when Tillett’s attorney, Elliot Gipson contacted TLK Fusion, the product placement agency for the Kardashians, about possible placement of the Kroma cosmetics line in the “Keeping up with the Kardashians” and other Kardashian reality TV shows.
Sample products were sent, and there were discussions were discussions back and forth between Tillett’s attorney and Kardashian’s rep. Though this took place in May 2010, no deal was ever reached. Now we know why. Kim Kardashian and her sisters had stolen the Kroma company name and were busily developing a line of beauty products under the name of “Khroma” for themselves.
Luckily for Lee Tillett, she had already applied for and been granted a trademark for the Kroma name, since the Kardashians deliberately stole her company name.
Kardashians and Boldface Ignore Cease and Desist Letter
Meanwhile, Lee Tillett got wind of what Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian were up to.
She had her attorney send the Kardashian sisters and their distributor Boldface Group a cease-and-desist letter to Boldface, stating that the Kardashians' Khroma Beauty infringed on her trademark of Kroma Make-up.
Apparently the Kardashians thought Lee Tillet either lacked the funds or the audacity to pursue a lawsuit against the mighty Kardashian clan.
So Lee Tillett suing the Kardashian sisters for $10 million dollars.
In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Tillett, who is based in Florida said:
“I developed the Kroma line myself, built my business through my own hard work, and took the legal steps necessary to protect it. And yet I have now been forced into legal battle with the Kardashians simply because they have decided to take something that doesn’t belong to them.”
The U.S. Patent and Trademark office found that the Kardashian’s use of the name “Khroma” infringed on Lee Tillett’s rights, and a judge agreed. Earlier this week the Kardashian sisters’ Khroma Beauty products were ordered off the shelves.
Kardashian Trademark Request Rejected by U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Knowing full well the name “Kroma” belonged to another company, the Kardashians added
the letter “h” to make it slightly different, and in January 2012 applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark office and tried to register the name “Khroma” as a trademark of their own.
According to TMZ.com, the U.S. Patent and Trademark office rejected the Kardashian sisters’ trademark request in September 2012. Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney Kardashian were informed by letter that the name “Khroma” was too similar to the name “Kroma” which was already a registered trading brand name in use by Lee Tillett’s cosmetic company.
As you can see, the Kardashian sisters were fully aware that the name “Khroma” was not legally theirs to use.
Yet they were unfazed by the rejection letter from the U.S. Patent and Trademark office and brazenly forged ahead with their product development and marketing plans.
The Kardashian sisters showed their blatant disregard for the law by calling their line of beauty products “Khroma,” anyway, despite being informed by a government agency that the name was not legally theirs to use.
Lee Tillett is to be commended for standing up to the Kardashian clan because they have a history of stealing products and designs.
It’s about time someone stopped the Kardashians in their tracks.
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*** © copyright 2013 Ruth Houston / All Rights Reserved.
Ruth Houston is a journalist, author, columnist, speaker and member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) specializing in celebrity and lifestyle topics. She writes a Celebrity Infidelity column, and is frequently called on by the media to comment on celebrity infidelity scandals, high profile infidelity court cases, and popular infidelity/ relationship issues in the news. Ruth also does cruise ship lectures on celebrity scandals, as well as other lifestyle topics. To interview infidelity expert Ruth Houston, or have her speak at your next event, call 718 592-6029 or e-mail InfidelityExpert@gmail.com.