When industry giants, L’Oreal, decided they could trample over the little guys, they met more than their match in Bryan Meehan, who founded Nude Skincare with Ali Hewson. L’Oreal – owners of YSL Beaute, of which the Stella McCartney beauty brand forms a part – insisted that they were going to release Stella’s new fragrance with the name StellaNude. Bryan and Ali objected as this was a direct infringement of the Nude (Skincare) trademark. Now it seems that a judge agrees with Bryan and Ali by giving the go-ahead for a trial to take place next year.
Now, I can’t help thinking that a huge corporation like L’Oreal ought to have a creative team that is actually creative enough to find a name for a prestigious Stella McCartney fragrance that isn’t already taken by someone else. Is that not just like, uh, a creative basic? There are so many other words that mean nude or thereabouts: bare, undressed, revealed, naked…to name but a few (L’Oreal, if you’re loving these options, please feel free to call…), that it is verging on ridiculous that there really wasn’t another – possibly even better – name on the table.
Ironically, Stella McCartney is a devout lover of all things green and eco…..Bryan Meehan’s other business is organic & natural stores, Fresh & Wild.
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So it really does matter; what’s in a name. 😉
It’s not the creative side that astounds me – did they not consult with their legal team when using the name of another brand in the same market for this product?
Not strictly on topic, but I did not care for the Stella McCartney skincare at all – the textures were not good for the prices charged.
But StellaNude is nothing like Nude skincare. the names really are different. How can you trademark the word nude? Whats happens to nude bras? Nude lipstick? There even once was a frag by Bill Blass called Nude long , long before Nude skincare.
I love Nude skincare but I think they’re wrong here. Odd, that over here in US we feel the way I do, while in UK you feel differently.
First of all, BBB, I love your blog. You are my #2 read every day (ha! even when you’re away!)
But, here, I must disagree. They are arguing over the word “nude.” And ownership of that word, as I understand.
Reagrdless of ownership of the brand, ownership of the word “nude” cannot be established (much to the chagrin of Sir Richard Branson, who would love to own the word “virgin”).
Such details, cannot, and should not go unnoticed. Lest we lose the entire vocabulary and have to start paying such “owners” rights to use everyday words such as “nude,” “virgin,” “naked,” or even “apple.”
Please take a second look at the law suit. I could very well be wrong…and hope I am…
Thanks for these comments – really interesting…Here’s a quote from the official statement which I think is where the issue lies at least over here….”Nude applied for and successfully registered the pan-European Community Trademark (CTM) for the word ‘Nude’ to be used as a trade mark specifically for perfumery and skincare, as well as for other products.” L’Oreal must have known they were breaching the skincare trademark when they named it…or if not, heads should roll in the legal department!
‘Apple’ is an interesting example – there was a long-running dispute between Apple (the music company) and MAC (the computer company, not the makeup company) about the use of the Apple logo in respect of itunes, and whether that constituted a breach of the agreement that MAC wouldn’t use the Apple logo in respect of the music business. They eventually settled out of court.
It’s not just about the use of the word per se, it’s the use of the word prominently in a name of a product in the same market when that word has now been trademarked as a brand name.
What I find even more ironic is that Stella McCartney is a devout animal lover and yet she gets L’Oreal to create her perfumes! The mind boggles.
Thanks for a fab post 🙂
I just wanted to thank you personally for your incredible blog. L’Oreal made a huge mistake using the word nude and believe they can use their muscle to see it through. Some things are worth fighting for and if we can fight to remove synthetics from skincare successfully we can fight L’Oreal and their army of lawyers to ensure that justice for our small company will prevail, as the judge commented it would. Bryan Meehan, Founder, Nude Skincare
Nude are so pompous to think they can own this word. Nobody would confuse the name of a perfume with a brand of skincare. Everyone can see it’s by Stella and she has nothing to do with this skin care brand. I really hate how brands want ownership of words- nobody should block other people from using the English language.