California consumers might be interested in learning why sales representatives for Mary Kay Cosmetics are fed up with online coupon promoter RetailMeNot. According to a lawsuit filed by the cosmetics giant, RetailMeNot has been advertising discount coupons for Mary Kay products that are not sold to the public. As a result, prospective buyers are becoming upset after learning that their expectations of receiving a discount won’t be met.
In its federal court lawsuit, Mary Kay Cosmetics alleges that RetailMeNot is guilty of trademark infringement, trademark dilution, unfair competition and false advertising. The cosmetics company is seeking an unspecified award for damages along with attorney fees. Mary Kay is also asking a judge to issue a permanent injunction that will prevent RetailMeNot from using the Mary Kay name or trademarks anywhere on its website.
According to Mary Kay, the discount coupons that are offered by RetailMeNot are fraudulent, because Mary Kay does not distribute discount coupons to the general public or enable other companies to do so. Although Mary Kay does sell some products online, the majority of its sales are made by in-person sales representatives referred to as independent beauty consultants. Mary Kay claims that the fraudulent discount coupons offered on RetailMeNot have been damaging to the company’s image.
Unlicensed use of a company’s trademarks can have negative consequences for the business. Those who believe that their company’s trademarks have been used without permission might want to speak with an attorney about pursuing litigation. An intellectual property attorney can help a business owner to seek an immediate injunction in order to prevent any further damage from being done to the brand.
Source: The Motley Fool, “Why Is RetailMeNot Offering Fake Discounts?,” Rich Duprey, March 24, 2015