Kardashians sue Orange County businesswoman

'Khroma' makeup line hit stores last month, has similar name to local brand

Published On: Dec 05 2012 11:47:37 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 07 2012 12:48:41 PM EST
The Kardashians on red carpet
MAITLAND, Fla. -

Jenna Reiser, of Winter Park, has been using Kroma Makeup for years, and she can't believe what's happening to the woman who created it.

"Sometimes you're so famous, you think you can do anything you want, I don't think that's right," she said.

Lee Tillett, founder of the high-end, all natural Kroma Makeup line, is being sued by Boldface, the company that has launched the Kardashians' new makeup line, Kourtney, Kim and Khloe Khroma Beauty.

"We were looking for the right partnership, the right time, and Boldface is exactly what we were looking for," said Kim Kardashian during a CNBC interview.

"Khroma 'K-H-R-O-M-A' was very similar to Kroma 'k-r-o-m-a' in both the phonetic sound, the look of it and in that both are cosmetics," said Lauren Heatwole McCorvie, Tillet's attorney.

Tillet said she has already seen the distraction of the similar names.

"We've had clients actually call here thinking that we are connected with them even though the line hasn't completely launched," she said.

The Kardashians' "Khroma" makeup line hit stores last month, even after it was denied approval from the Federal Trademark Office in September. The feds said the name was too similar to the "Kroma" makeup that was already trademarked by Lee Tillett.

The lawsuit claims the Kardashians should be able to use the name and it does not infringe on any of Tillett's trademark rights.

"I just think that they don't need to put somebody out of business. They could come up with another name. I'm sure that they're creative enough (that) they can come up with another name," said Reiser.

In a statement to Local 6, Boldface defended the Kardashians and said there will be no confusion between the two brands because their makeup is clearly marketed with the famous Kardashian brand.

"Boldface Licensing + Branding has gone through the appropriate legal channels in obtaining the rights to use the name Khroma Beauty by Kourtney, Kim and Khloé in the Color Category with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, making all proper legal filings," according to a statement released by Boldface on Thursday.

Lee has 20 days to respond to the lawsuit, in which she can defend herself or countersue for trademark infringement.