Despite recent events, I am still excited to celebrate #RareBeautyCosmetics fifth year in business this coming Spring! As many of you may now know, I filed a Petition to Cancel Trademark against #RareBeauty in September of 2021. This mark was wrongfully obtained by #RareBeauty when they filed in November of 2017 AFTER my brand #RareBeautyCosmetics had already been in business for more than six months.
Shortly after I filed for the cancellation last year, I received an email from the Chief Digital Officer of #RareBeauty asking to have a “friendly” conversation to settle this matter privately. I agreed to hear him out. Unfortunately, that series of conversations proved the #RareBeauty team to be unethical and uninterested in settling the matter. During one of the conversations, their Chief Digital Officer tried to bribe me into selling my brand name and inventory to them after warning me that they were prepared to “drag” me through expensive legal proceedings, which he was certain I could not afford.
Their goal was to pay me as little as possible in exchange for silence and giving up the right to my brand so they could secure their registration, which should never have been granted in the first place. I have put my heart and soul into my brand, and #RareBeauty has no right to take it from me. Following that final conversation which included the insulting offer, I cut off all direct communication with their team and hired an attorney to represent my brand.
On January 29, 2022, #RareBeauty filed a lawsuit against #RareBeautyCosmetics in an attempt to not only intimidate me but also retaliate against me for not accepting their offer. Their filing is full of inaccuracies. My lawyer and I never threatened anyone on their team, nor did we give an ultimatum. In fact, their lawyer threatened me! She told my lawyer she would drown me in thousands of dollars of legal fees plus she made comments in relation to me not being able to financially or emotionally withstand the pressure that would come from this matter going any further, despite the fact that it was their request to keep things quiet. What hurts me the most is the clear aggression and threats hidden behind fame and money on their behalf.
#RareBeauty claims to be a mission-driven company, that believes in mental health awareness. If that is true, why threaten and lie about me? If they truly felt they did nothing illegal, unethical, or fraudulent; why offer me any sum of money? Why try to bribe me? Why make several attempts to settle this matter privately? Why sue me in federal court to avoid the TTAB cancellation process I had already started months prior? Why threaten to bury me in legal fees while condescendingly suggesting I can’t afford it? It just doesn’t make sense and clearly shows that their claim to care for others’ mental health is a lie when their bottom line and business practices are at issue.
I refuse to allow this company to break or silence me. For the past 48 hours I have been harassed by #SelenaGomez fans and supporters. I have worked hard on and for my brand #RareBeautyCosmetics. I take pride in being a black, female-owned small business. I will see this through. The spokesperson for #RareBeauty, #SelenaGomez, recently shared with the #NYTimes how her company aims to help and support mental health of others YET this company has displayed nothing but toxic and aggressive energy toward me since I decided to speak up. Her fans have been constantly messaging me disgusting remarks while the FACT still remains, #RareBeauty wrongfully obtained the trademark registration. I launched and made my first sale in Spring of 2017 which gives #RareBeautyCosmetics PRIORITY rights to the trademark name. I have receipts, bank statements, and customer testimony to prove everything. #RareBeautyCosmetics was used in commerce prior to the filing date of #RareBeauty and is the rightful owner of the RARE BEAUTY name. I will not give up. I will see this through!