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Paris Hilton may have just settled a lawsuit with Hallmark over a greeting card that allegedly violated her publicity rights, but she may find herself “entangled” in another lawsuit regarding Celebrity Signatures International’s Paris Hilton Hair Extensions.
Celebrity Signatures International, also known as “Hair U Wear,” seeks to “inspire men and women to see the possibilities of alternative hair” by offering a variety of hair extensions for men and women. The company specializes in selling hair extensions designed after celebrity hairstyles. Customers can purchase hair extensions that resemble Jessica Simpson, Raquel Welch, and of course Paris Hilton. Ironically, Celebrity Signatures is very serious about the authenticity of their celebrity knock-off hair extensions, and the company has even patented a specific way of making the extensions.
This patent forms the basis of Celebrity Signatures’ lawsuit against Hair Tech International, another company that markets hair extensions based on Paris Hilton’s golden tresses. Celebrity Signature’s complaint alleges two claims. First, Celebrity Signatures contends that Hair Tech infringed upon its hair extensions patent by using and selling the same type of hair extensions. Second, Celebrity Signatures alleges that Hair Tech wrongfully marketed its hair extensions as patent pending in order to deceive the public. However, Hair Tech stated in a response to the lawsuit that the company had signed a deal with Paris Hilton in 2007, and had permission to create hair extensions based on her hairstyles.
Although the current lawsuit is only between Celebrity Signatures and Hair Tech, Paris Hilton may have a claim of her own against Celebrity Signatures. First, Paris may advance a misappropriation claim against Celebrity Signatures for their use of her likeness without permission. Second, Hilton can also claim that the hair extensions are a violation of her right of publicity. The right of publicity is the right of individuals to control and make money from the commercial use of their identity. By selling Paris Hilton hair extensions, Celebrity Signatures is making a profit from Hilton’s iconic hairstyle both without her permission and without any financial compensation. Hilton could easily argue that Hair Tech is the only hair extension company that can make knockoff versions of her hairstyles — because she gave them permission to do so.
– Nadia Mozaffar
Tagged with: advertising • celebrities • Celebrity Signatures International • contracts • creative content • entertainment • film/television • financial • hair extensions • Hair Tech • Hallmark • infringement • intellectual property • lawsuits • license • likeness • media • misappropriation • Paris Hilton • patent pending • patents • progress • publicity rights
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