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Hailey Bieber’s New Skin Care Brand, Rhode, Sued for Trademark Infringement

A week after the launch of her new skin care brand, Rhode, Hailey Bieber is facing a lawsuit for trademark infringement.Rhode, a nine-year-old fashion brand cofounded by Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers, filed the suit against the model and her two companies in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on…

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Hailey Bieber’s New Skin Care Brand, Rhode, Sued for Trademark Infringement

A week after the launch of her new skin care brand, Rhode, Hailey Bieber is facing a lawsuit for trademark infringement.

Rhode, a nine-year-old fashion brand cofounded by Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers, filed the suit against the model and her two companies in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Tuesday, in what they say is an effort to protect their brand trademark. According to court documents, they are requesting that a federal judge immediately block Bieber’s use of the brand name, which also happens to be her middle name, under the federal Lanham Act and New York common law.

In a filing, Khatau states that she and Vickers launched their brand in May 2013 and have “dedicated ourselves to growing and nurturing the Rhode brand through much personal sacrifice and hardship,” according to People. The brand, which is now sold at major luxury retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, is expected to make $14.5 million this year and has also been worn by a long list of high-profile celebrities such as Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Tracee Ellis Ross. The fashion brand owns the “Rhode” trademark for several types of clothing items and accessories and, according to People, they’ve also filed to expand that trademark to include additional categories such as home goods, and were considering makeup and skin care as well.

In a joint statement, Khatau and Vickers wrote that they “were forced to file a lawsuit against Hailey Bieber and her skin-care line that launched last week and that is using the brand name ‘rhode.’ We didn’t want to file this lawsuit, but we had to in order to protect our business. While a global brand, we are still a young and growing company, and we cannot overcome a celebrity with Hailey’s following using our company’s name to sell related products.” They go on to say that while they “wish her every success,” at the same time they have to ask Bieber to change the name of her skin care line as “her using our name is hurting our company, our employees, our customers, and our partners.… We’re both part of a larger beauty market in which fashion and cosmetics closely overlap and often collaborate. Hailey has stated that she wants to pursue a clothing line, and she even applied for ‘rhode’ as a trademark for clothing. We welcome competition—we just don’t want competitors using our name.” They also noted that four years ago, the model attempted to buy the rights to the name from them outright, but they declined the offer.

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The fashion brand’s attorney reportedly added Tuesday, “This is a textbook case of reverse confusion, in which a massive junior trademark user threatens to trample a smaller senior user’s market. The magnitude of Bieber’s following and the virality of her marketing will cause immediate, ongoing and irreparable harm to the Rhode brand. And the hardships and public interest weigh overwhelmingly in favor of protecting the nine-year investment of two upstart entrepreneurs over the latest mega-venture by a mega-star.” A representative for Bieber did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Giant illuminated ring planned for city square

Dazzling design: Giant illuminated ring planned for Light SquareAn internationally-acclaimed visual arts studio is designing a giant illuminated steel ring for the final resting place of Adelaide’s original designer. There is more to this story But it’s a member-only story. Subscribe today to unlock it and more… Dazzling design: Giant illuminated ring planned for Light…

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Giant illuminated ring planned for city square

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Dazzling design: Giant illuminated ring planned for Light Square

An internationally-acclaimed visual arts studio is designing a giant illuminated steel ring for the final resting place of Adelaide’s original designer.

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But it’s a member-only story. Subscribe today to unlock it and more…

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Dazzling design: Giant illuminated ring planned for Light Square

An internationally-acclaimed visual arts studio is designing a giant illuminated steel ring for the final resting place of Adelaide’s original designer.

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‘Beautiful soul’: $20k raised for Gold Coast drowning victim

Tributes have poured in for a ‘gorgeous girl’ following her tragic death on the Gold Coast. Find out how family and friends plan to honour her memory.CentralDon’t miss out on the headlines from Central. Followed categories will be added to My News.Family and friends have paid tribute to a “beautiful soul” and “gorgeous girl” following…

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‘Beautiful soul’: $20k raised for Gold Coast drowning victim

Tributes have poured in for a ‘gorgeous girl’ following her tragic death on the Gold Coast. Find out how family and friends plan to honour her memory.

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Family and friends have paid tribute to a “beautiful soul” and “gorgeous girl” following her tragic death on the Gold Coast.

Lizzie Kerry drowned near the Esplanade at Elkhorn Ave, Surfers Paradise, about 4am on May 21.

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Emergency services performed CPR on Ms Kerry after she was pulled from the water, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said the 32-year-old was visiting from NSW and her death was not deemed suspicious.

Ms Kerry had community ties on the Gold Coast, NSW, Melbourne and New Zealand.

Her close friend Kristopher Vincent started an online fundraising page to pay for funeral costs, which has since raised a whopping $20,000.

He described the 32-year-old as a “gorgeous girl”.

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“A sister, a daughter, a friend, a kind voice – whatever Lizzie meant to you, she was the brightest light, a ball of energy and the definition of ‘lights up a room’,” Mr Vincent said.

“Her family and friends want to send her off in style and re-live the memories in all of the cities she called home, across Australia and New Zealand.

“Any remaining funds will be donated to Lizzie’s favourite charities.”

Tributes for Ms Kerry flooded her social media accounts, with Jess Petersen describing her as a “beautiful soul”.

“Sending my love to you darling and fly high Lizzie you absolute angel.”

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Mel Sharpin said the world would not be the same without her bubbly spirit.

“You will be missed Lizzie Kerry. May you fly even higher in your new life,” she wrote.

“The world won’t be the same without you.”

Mazza McGuirk remembered the outgoing young woman for her “fearless, fun, passionate and generous” soul.

Another urged other people to “live life like Lizzie”.

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Just weeks before Ms Kerry’s death, lifeguards pleaded with swimmers to follow safety warnings in the wake of the drowning of a Gold Coast man in his 30s.

There had been five beach rescues on the Gold Coast that week.

Queensland Ambulance Service supervisor Adam Flori said swimmers who ignored safety messages were putting themselves and rescuers at risk.

“It’s frustrating because it doesn’t appear the messages are being heard,” Mr Flori said at the time.

To view the fundraising page for Ms Kerry, visit here.

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You beauty! Brissie booze start-up selling 3 million cocktails a year

A Brisbane start-up has added an Aussie twist to a classic Italian cocktail which its owner describes as a `kind of Sophia Loren meets Bondi Beach’ and they are set to take off overseas.Tom Maclean’s quest to add a unique Aussie twist to an Italian aperitivo started over a decade ago and while not without…

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You beauty! Brissie booze start-up selling 3 million cocktails a year

A Brisbane start-up has added an Aussie twist to a classic Italian cocktail which its owner describes as a `kind of Sophia Loren meets Bondi Beach’ and they are set to take off overseas.

Tom Maclean’s quest to add a unique Aussie twist to an Italian aperitivo started over a decade ago and while not without trials his venture is now flying high.

After building up SOFI, which makes Australia’s very own aperitivos and serves more than three million wine-based cocktails annually, he is forging ahead with global plans to take his startup to even greater heights.

This year Brisbane-based SOFI plans to take on the global export market through the launch of a new 16 per cent Alcohol-by-Volume (ABV) SOFI aperitivo format, as well as a collaboration with Australia’s national carrier, Qantas.

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Mr Maclean said he was at a barbecue in Sydney when he first thought of what he described as a “kind of Sophia Loren meets Bondi Beach”.

“I love Aussie wines and we have an amazing wine industry. I was living in Bondi and having a lot of backyard barbecues and the wine didn’t really fit with the backyard barbies we were having so I wanted a product that reflected that kind of more casual occasion,” he said.

That germ of an idea complemented Mr Maclean’s travels to Italy, which introduced him to Italian wine-based aperitivo and spritz.

The twist was that he wanted to “Aussie-fy” the classic spritz by using all natural ingredients and no added sugar to appeal to health-focused consumers and Mr Maclean – who at the time was in the finance industry – joined forces with fifth generation winemaker Simon Gilbert, to blend grapes from across the country’s premium wine regions.

They also worked with the late Bill Torrey, who brought decades of experience pioneering botanical distillation.

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Increasingly SOFI has been harnessing local extracts of Native Lemon, Tasmanian Pepperberry, Finger Lime and Davidson Plum to ramp up the uniqueness of their concoctions.

Mr Maclean said SOFI’s spritz debuted at the Bondi Farmers Markets in 2013 and three years later the startup was given a shot in the arm with an appearance in The Shark Tank.

They received offers from four of the sharks and accepted a joint offer at the asking price, $130,000 for a 10 per cent split of the business from Glen Richards and Steve Baxter who remain close advisers.

They also raised more than $41,000 from three campaigns through rewards-based crowdfunding platform Pozible and in 2019 SOFI completed a crowd sourced funding offer through Equitise and raised about $550,000.

Mr Maclean, who has returned home to live in Brisbane, said the Qantas deal was kickstarted through Mr Baxter’s team which helped them land an initial introduction to Qantas, five years ago.

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“In the middle of Covid Qantas’s head of beverages called me out of the blue saying they wanted to do a special bespoke cocktail to launch international travel,” he said.

“He said they wanted it to be wine-based and have Australian ingredients. We worked for a year developing two recipes and they chose one of those, Sky Spritz, which launched on international flights in December.

“The Qantas deal is a massive one and off the back of that we are getting really strong interest out of international markets.”

The Sky Spritz is an ode to Australian native botanicals, featuring Davidson Plum and Finger

Lime, both of which hail from the subtropical rainforests of Queensland.

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While SOFI is flying high with growth of around 20 per cent in 2020-21 and revenue hitting around $2.5m, Mr Maclean said Covid hit them hard, disrupting expansion overseas and keg sales to Australian pubs.

However, Covid also produced opportunities.

“Before Covid hit we were doing a lot of cocktails in kegs with cocktails on tap and we were in some of the biggest high volume venues in the country,” he said.

“But we got smashed by Covid and it was very tough. It was a massive readjustment and we had to stop doing kegs and developed our full strength aperitivo which is in the spirit category.”

SOFI aperitivo has won a silver award at the Melbourne International Spirits Competition 2021 and the company also inked a national deal with one of Australia’s leading distributors, Joval Wine Group.

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Mr Maclean said the aperitivo format was not only to keep up with consumer behaviour but to help pave the way with plans for international expansion.

“We had great interest from international chains, yet we couldn’t make the premix canned

cocktail format stack up for export,” he said.

“Australia is pretty unique in that we massively over-index on premixed/RTD/RTS (Ready-to-Drink/Ready-to-Serve) consumption. So in that case, the higher ABV SOFI aperitivo gives us an opportunity to take SOFI to the world. Perhaps, we will sell aperitivo back to Italy?

“Covid lockdowns and consumer behaviour also added to this shift as we saw people creating cocktails. We were super excited about giving our consumers the freedom to mix SOFI to their taste and letting their creativity run wild.”

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Originally published as SOFI plans to expand globally after Qantas orders Sky Spritz on international flights

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