Order in the court! We are here today to figure out if Hailey Bieber committed trademark infringement by naming her skincare line rhode (all lowercase). The model is being sued by RHODE (all uppercase), a clothing line founded by Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers, who wrote in a statement that Bieber “using our name is hurting our company, our employees, our customers, and our partners.”
Let’s take a look at the evidence from both sides:
EXHIBIT A: Bieber allegedly tried to buy the RHODE trademark
According to a statement from RHODE lawyer Lisa Simpson (human, not cartoon), Bieber was aware of the clothing brand before launching her skincare line. “Ms. Bieber launched a beauty skin-care line using the same exact brand as Rhode. She did this despite knowing of Rhode and its prior rights – Ms. Bieber tried to buy the RHODE mark from Rhode four years ago,” Simpson wrote.
EXHIBIT B: She’s just using her middle name
A source in Bieber’s camp told TMZ that “she owns the trademark for skincare, and the other Rhode holds the trademark for clothing.” They also pointed out that Rhode is Bieber’s middle name, which apparently means that this is allowed I guess.
EXHIBIT C: The RHODE clothes are really cute
This is subjective, but I like the RHODE dresses. I am much more likely to shop there than buy yet another celebrity goo, as I already own goo from at least three different celebrities. This, I believe, is proof that rhode (the skin one) should have to give up the name.
This does seem like a pretty cut and dry case, but one that is almost certainly going to be settled out of court. As a devout follower of Christ, Bieber should know that she is breaking at least two of the ten commandments right now: Thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not covet. Although, now that I’m thinking about it, covet would be a really good name for a skincare brand. All lowercase, of course.