Hard Candy, LLC v. Anastasia Beverly Hills, Inc.

921 F.3d 1343 (2019)

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Hard Candy, LLC v. Anastasia Beverly Hills, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
921 F.3d 1343 (2019)

  • Written by Ann Wooster, JD

Facts

Beginning in 1995, a cosmetics-sales company called Hard Candy, LLC (plaintiff) owned a federally registered trademark for the mark “HARD CANDY.” Hard Candy licensed the mark to a producer of cosmetics sold exclusively by Wal-Mart under the Hard Candy name. In 2015, a cosmetics company called Anastasia Beverly Hills, Inc. (Anastasia) (defendant) released a flip-open product called the Gleam Glow Kit (the kit). The kit contained different shades of facial highlighter. One of the highlighter shades was a peachy pink color called “HARD CANDY,” as listed inside and on the back of the kit package. Anastasia chose the name because the shimmer of the shade reminded the kit developer of candies from her youth. Hard Candy sent Anastasia a cease-and-desist letter, claiming trademark infringement. The companies were unable to resolve the matter, and Anastasia sold the kit as a limited edition with the “HARD CANDY” highlighter shade. Hard Candy brought suit in the district court, claiming trademark infringement in violation of the Lanham Trade-Mark Act. After a bench trial, the district court determined that Hard Candy’s trademark was strong but that Anastasia was not using the term “HARD CANDY” as a mark. Instead, Anastasia fairly used the term as a description for the sheen of the makeup shade labeled. Because Hard Candy offered no evidence of actual confusion among cosmetic consumers, the district court found that there was no likelihood of consumer confusion, which was necessary to support a trademark-infringement claim against Anastasia. Hard Candy appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Marcus, J.)

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