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Mary Kay in the courts with trademark infringement issue

By Michelle Yeomans , 14-Feb-2013
Last updated on 14-Feb-2013 at 17:25 GMT2013-02-14T17:25:23Z

Mary Kay in the courts with trademark infringement issue

The direct selling company has taken a luxury designer to a Dallas County Court over the use of its' “MK” trademark.

According to the Courthouse News Service forum, Mary Kay is seeking an injunction and damages for breach of contract and trademark infringement from Michael Kors in regards to the designer registering a competing cosmetics line under the same trademark initials that are attributed to them.  

This isn’t the first time the parties have appeared in the courts over the issue, they were thought to have settled the dispute back in 2005, but Mary Kay claims Kors approached them twice again in 2011 to modify the agreement to allow him to register under a "MK Charm Logo" mark, and on refusing thought that was the end of the matter.

The issue

Now according to their latest complaint, "Notwithstanding the restrictive covenants of the coexistence agreement and Mary Kay's opposition, Michael Kors filed two unauthorized applications for trademark registration on May 12, 2012 without providing notice."

The first application adheres to the very logo about which Kors contacted Mary Kay about in 2011, and now the company claims Kors and (nonparty) Estee Lauder are jointly marketing a limited-edition cosmetics gift package that includes the second infringing mark.

"Mary Kay did not discover the existence of the 'MK Charm Logo' filings until late November 2012."

The first filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office includes the letters "MK" with a circle around the letters; the second filing is the same but with the words "Michael Kors" on the bottom border of the circle.

Mary Kay claims the agreement in place prohibits Kors from using "MK" standing alone, or in close proximity to "Michael Kors," or in connection with "any products whatsoever" for cosmetics products or services.

"The referenced Michael Kors cosmetic case bears the MK Charm With Michael Kors Mark and it can be purchased via dozens of retailers, including Nordstrom and Macy's," the complaint states.

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