Hailey Bieber is being sued for trademark infringement over her skincare company Rhode by a similarly named clothing company.
Rhode NYC claims that Bieber’s company Rhode is too close to its brand name, which it has trademarked, according to legal documents obtained by TMZ on Tuesday.
However, a source close to the 25-year-old model and wife of Justin Bieber claimed that Hailey and Rhode NYC both have trademarks for different kinds of business, meaning the clothing company might not have a basis to sue her.
Copycat? Hailey Bieber, 25, has been sued for her skincare company Rhode by the clothing company Rhode NYC, which claimed she infringed on its trademark, TMZ reported on Tuesday; seen in September 2021 in NYC
In the court filings, Rhode NYC claims that Bieber tried to purchase the Rhode trademark from it, but the brand’s owners Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers refused to sell.
The company also claims that Bieber’s minimalist Rhode logo looks similar to its design.
The company, which was founded in 2013, theorizes that Bieber’s company has been so successful so far because of her fame and connection to her pop star husband, rather than the quality of her skincare products.
Hailey, who boasts more than 45 million Instagram followers, and Justin, who has 243 million followers, have both been promoting the products to those masses.
No thanks: In the court filings, Rhode NYC claims that Bieber tried to purchase the Rhode trademark from it, but the brand’s owners Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers refused to sell
Too close for comfort: The founders also claim that Bieber’s Rhode logo is similar to their minimalist logo
As evidence of the confusion allegedly caused by Bieber’s company name, Rhode NYC’s owners cite customers who have accidentally tagged Bieber or her company on social media when they meant to tag the clothing company.
Rhode NYC is requesting that Bieber’s company drop the Rhode name if it prevails in court.
Later on Tuesday, a source associated with Bieber told TMZ that she owns the Rhode trademark for skincare products, whereas Rhode NYC owns the trademark on the name for selling clothing.
They also noted that Rhode is the model’s middle name, and they claimed that gave her priority over the clothing company as she was more established in the public eye than it is.
Speaking out: Rhode NYC defended itself in a statement posted to Instagram on Tuesday afternoon. It wrote in filings that customers have accidentally tagged Hailey’s company when they meant to tag the clothing seller
On Tuesday afternoon, Rhode NYC issued a statement about the lawsuit on its Instagram page in which it stuck to its guns.
The founders opened by describing themselves as ‘two women entrepreneurs who met in college, built the RHODE brand, and put years of hard work into our minority co-owned company.’
They wrote that they had filed a lawsuit against Bieber, adding, ‘We didn’t want to file this lawsuit, but we had to in order to protect our business,’ before taking a more diplomatic approach by complimenting Bieber.
‘We admire Hailey. She has worked hard and earned the ability to create her own skin-care line. We don’t want to sue Hailey; we want to celebrate her. As fellow women entrepreneurs, we wish her every success.’
Different trademarks: A source connected to Bieber claimed that she owns the skincare trademark for Rhode, while Rhode NYC owns the clothing trademark of the name
They claimed that Bieber ‘could choose any brand for her skin-care line.’
‘We have only the brand name “RHODE” that we’ve built. That’s why we didn’t sell her our brand when she asked four years ago, and why we ask her now to change her skin-care line’s brand,’ they continued. ‘Her using our brand is hurting our company, our employees, our customers, and our partners.’
The founders remained defiant in their conclusion.
‘We’re confident in the lawsuit’s outcome, but we hope Hailey will now understand the harm we’re sure she never meant to cause and change her skin-care line’s brand.’