On Tuesday, June 21, counsel representing Rhode, a fashion label co-founded by Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers, issued a statement to the press regarding the news.
“Ms. Bieber launched a beauty skin-care line using the same exact brand as Rhode,” lawyer Lisa Simpson said. “She did this despite knowing of Rhode and its prior rights. Ms. Bieber tried to buy the RHODE mark from Rhode four years ago.”
An excerpt of the lawsuit reads, “This is a textbook case of reverse confusion, in which a massive junior trademark user threatens to trample a smaller senior user’s market.”
Simpson acknowledges that Bieber’s “Rhode” branding didn’t appear out of nowhere—it’s her legal middle name—but says regardless, “the law on this is clear: you can’t create this kind of brand confusion just because you want to use your name.”
A source from Rhode Skin told TMZ that Bieber’s brand owns the trademark for skincare, while Rhode the fashion brand owns the trademark for clothing. Rhode Skin did not immediately return Glamour’s request for comment.
Per the Rhode fashion website, the brand was founded in New York by two former college roommates, Khatau and Vickers, who quit their full-time jobs to begin their fashion brand together in 2013, and has been worn by celebrities from Beyoncé to Hailey Bieber herself.