Victoria Beckham in trademark battle with Australian beauty brand Skinlab

By Lucy Tandon Copp 22-Apr-2020

The businesswoman and former Spice Girl has lodged an appeal with the Federal Circuit Court of Australia after failing to win an initial trademark battle

Victoria Beckham has lodged an appeal with an Australian court, after failing to win a trademark battle against A-beauty brand Skinlab.

The businesswoman and founder of Victoria Beckham Beauty initially pursued legal action when Skinlab filed a trademark application in March for the use of ‘VB salon’ and ‘VB Skinlab’.

It was acknowledged by IP Australia – the government IP agency – that Beckham was the first to use the ‘VB’ mark in Australia for the sale of her cosmetics line and had generated AUD$557,491 in sales between 1 July 2017 and 31 December 2017.

However, it did not agree that the two marks were similar enough to be substantially identical or cause confusion.

The court document read: “On a side by side comparison there are clear differences between the respective trademarks, namely the stylisation of the VB element in the Skinlab mark, the presence of the horizontal line, and the addition of the word ‘Skinlab’.”

Beckham also argued that the application had been made in bad faith based on the inference that Skinlab would have known about the Victoria Beckham Beauty brand and the goods that it sells.

However, the court again sided with Skinlab, stating that it “could not conclude that the decision of the applicant to adopt and seek to register two marks containing the letters ‘VB’ in respect of the applicant’s goods and services, was a decision made to take advantage of the reputation of the VB mark”.

Beckham was ordered to pay the costs for the legal action.

The Federal Circuit Court of Australia is due to hold a preliminary hearing today on 22 April.

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