The Mary Kay and Michael Kors trademark battle has finally come to an end… at least we hope. The dispute between the ever popular cosmetics company and high-end clothing line came to play last February (2013) when Mary Kay Inc. filed a lawsuit against Michael Kors LLC. claiming the clothing designer illegally promoted competing products with the cosmetic company’s branded initials, “MK.” Mary Kay claimed that this breached the agreement that both companies agreed upon to properly manage the use of comparable trademarks.
It was reputed at the time that Kors filed applications through the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with the intention to register the trademark “MK” to be used as decorative charms on Estee Lauder cosmetic gift bags. Mary Kay retaliated by claiming these monogrammed charms directly violated the terms stated in the agreement signed by both companies which only allows Mary Kay to use the trademark “MK” on cosmetic products.
When Michael Kors first attempted to register the trademark in 2003, Mary Kay challenged the application placed through USPTO claiming rights to the trademark. It wasn’t until 2005 that the two companies struck an agreement about the rights of said trademark to avoid trademark infringement. One of the terms delineated in the agreement prevented Michael Kors from using “MK” when promoting cosmetic products of any kind.
Just last week, the two companies settled the ongoing dispute through a peaceful agreement. All aspects of the argument were said to have been settled, some by means of a simple compromise. Will this feud between both brands be the last? We certainly hope so, at least between these two companies – who’s to say what’s in store for other companies facing similar battles?
Text reference via California Trademark Attorney and Beauty Packaging + photo reference via Beauty Alamanc