In the case of RHODE Vs. Rode, a 9-year minority-owned fashion brand owned by Purna Khatau and Phobe Vickers filed a lawsuit against Hailey Bieber for trademark infringement after the model and wife of Justin debuted a skincare line with the same name, which happens to be her middle name. The fashion line, which has been worn by Beyonce, Rihanna and sold in luxury stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and according to the lawsuit is expected to make $14.5 Million this year alleges that after Bieber launched her Rhode Skincare line earlier this month, Khatau and Vickers immediately began to see confusion in the marketplace which has already hurt their brand. The partners asked the court for a preliminary injunction ordering Hailey to stop using the name “Rhode” to prevent further confusion. “The brand Rhode is everything we have worked hard to achieve, and her using our name is hurting our company, our employees, our customers, and our partners,” they said in the statement. The co-founders said Hailey attempted to buy the rights to the name from them four years ago, but they declined. “the magnitude of Bieber’s following and the virality of her marketing will cause immediate, ongoing, and irreparable harm to the Rhode brand.” Hailey Bieber, married to Justin Bieber, is a celebrity with over 45 million followers on Instagram, another 9.2 million on TikTok, and a circle of A-list friends including fellow beauty entrepreneur Kylie Jenner. She has leveraged social media to promote her brand, with a single post promoting the beauty brand garnering over 1.5 million likes. The founders claim that some consumers on Instagram have been tagging the wrong Rhode in photos.
See their full statement on Instagram below, Beibers Rhode brand has not responded.
In a separate statement, the clothing brand’s lawyer, Lisa T. Simpson, said that the situation is “unfortunate.”
“We, of course, understand that Hailey wants to use her middle name for her brand, but the law on this is clear: you can’t create this kind of brand confusion just because you want to use your name,” she said. “What Ms. Bieber is doing is harming a minority co-owned business that two women have painstakingly built into a growing, global brand.”