Benefit cosmetics loses trademark fight

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Benefit cosmetics loses trademark fight

Related tags Trademark

A businesswoman has won her battle against Benefit Cosmetics, successfully blocking the company’s use of the term ‘Brow Bar’ exclusively in Australia.

Chernae Noonan owns an eyebrow shaping business in Queensland called 'The Brow Bar' and successfully argued against the LVMH-owned business, proving that she had trademarked the brand in Australia before Benefit had.

Noonan has built up a significant business on the back of the Brow Bar names, launching in Springland Queensland back in 2003, and expanding it to now include six other stores, covering most of Eastern Australia.

The lawsuit

LVMH has invested significantly in global brand Benefit since it acquired the business in 1999, allowing it to launch its' Brow Bar business in the US in 2003, and to subsequently develop it into a global business that dwarves Noonan’s operation.

But despite the 'Goliath verses David' comparison, the Australian Trade Marks Office sided with Noonan, agreeing that she had registered the name of her business in Australia, which Benefit had failed to do.

The Australian Trade Mark Office papers show that Benefit had in fact only registered the trademark in Mexico and Hong Kong.

The legal action, which began in 2009, came about when Noonan realised that Benefit had set up a Brow Bar in Sydney Australia. According to the court papers, she immediately filed an application to trademark the name and letters of demand that the international cosmetics player cease exclusive use of the name.

Benefit has subsequently agreed to add its name to the brand, which means that the business will now be referred to as 'Benefit Brow Bar'.

The LVMH Brow Bar

Benefit has grown its Brow Bar as a professional beauty service targeting eye brow shaping and care, providing waxing and tweezing services by trained staff, and has been developed as a global business off the back of Benefit’s success.

Additionally it provides treatments for lashes, brow tinting and body waxing to a clientele that is said to mainly target women in the 25 to 50 age bracket.

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