A district court judge has prohibited the California-based company from marketing or selling its star product in the US, after a rival claimed 'unfair competition in the marketplace.'
The civil lawsuit brought on by Allergan, the maker of Latisse, an FDA-approved prescription treatment for hypotrichosis (inadequate or not enough eyelashes) claimed that Athena was violating the State's unfair competition law based on the way it labeled, advertised and marketed the eyelash conditioner.
The courts ruled in favor of Allergan, informing Athena representatives that the company was no longer to market or sell that particular product in the US, yet international marketing and sales of the product present in 44 other countries are not affected by the ruling.
Appealing the decision
On the ruling, representatives of the California-based company say; "The Court made no findings that Athena’s RevitaLash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner is unsafe but rather ruled that it was in violation of a unfair competition law."
"Based upon safety testing, as well as consumer experience, Athena affirms its long-standing safety record and belief that its RevitaLash Advanced product is safe," they added, clearly wary of consumers wrongly interpreting the ruling as the product being deemed unsafe.
Finally, Athena reps say they will be appealing the court's decision and that in the meantime the company will continue to legally sell its other cosmetic products, which are not subject to the ruling including its RevitaBrow Advanced Eyebrow Conditioner, Hair Advanced by RevitaLash, and Nouriche Eyelash Conditioner.
The company has had its fair share of issues...
Back in November of 2007, following the seizure of an eyelash conditioner from rival Jan Marini by the FDA, Athena voluntarily removed its 'Revitalash' product from the market.
Regulatory concern over the ingredient bimatoprost then, which is approved in for the treatment of glaucoma, was cited as the reason behind the removal, although at the time Athena simultaneously assured all its customers the product was safe.
Months later the company reformulated and relaunched the product claiming that it did not contain the contentious ingredient.