Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Ciate is trademarking 'Caviar manicure/ Caviar nails' - is it a bad move?

Hi everybody,

I've just came across blog post from Anna from Pretty Digits who have received following email from Ciate:

"It has come to our attention that you are using the mark caviar manicure and/or caviar nails in relation to a manicure product/method of manicure.
This relates to post on the 30th March ‘Caviar Nails Again’ as per link below:
http://prettydigits.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/caviar-nails-again.html
Brand Agency Limited (Ciate) own the trade marks caviar manicure and caviar nails and we are in the process of applying to register these mark around the world.
Therefore you should not use the trade marks caviar manicure and/or caviar nails unless they are used in relation to products or to a method of using products that are produced by Ciate.
Please confirm once you have removed references to our trade marks from your website."

Firstly I want to inform and raise awareness of this. Secondly I want to know your opinion. One thing  is to trademark your new product name and force the right use of it which is their legal right. But what I have problem with is that the 'caviar manicure/nails' is not their idea! It is at least a year old when it was used by Dashing Diva at Fashion Week in February 2011. And now whoever uses name 'caviar manicure/nails' can be pursued because Ciate has trademarked it/is in the trademarking process.

What do you think? Share this info to let everyone know x

63 comments:

  1. They shouldn't be allowed to trade mark anything that they didn't come up with themselves. Also, in this specific case, I think it's stupid, because "Caviar nails" is not a especially developed product per se, but rather a type of manicure that can be made without having to buy the actual Ciate products. If they trade mark it, are they also going to prohibit craft stores around the world from selling the little beads for the manicures?! That would just be stupid!!

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    1. Yeah, I agree. Some girls said that their application shouldn't go through as it is rather descriptive name but who knows how this will end. I think it is quite stupid from them to actually write to bloggers that they cannot use the word 'caviar' in the manicure name/description...this will get a very bad publicity I think...I know I don't like it..

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    2. Exactly. I'm personally not buying anything from a company that cannot treat it's customers properly. Serious PR fail unfortunately

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  2. What am I supposed to call my nails when I dunk them in beluga now? Fish egg manis? I feel like they've gone overboard on this.

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  3. It's stupid, those beaded manis look like caviar so people call them caviar ... It's like if it was forbidden to use the words "rainbow manicure" or "polka dots manicure"...

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  4. Trademarking is always murky waters. They let Ralph Lauren trademark the word 'POLO' for goodness sakes.

    It seems absurd that just because they are first to market a prepackaged set for making these that they should get the rights to a name for a pre-existing trend.

    I'll never buy their sets. I thought they were overpriced to begin with but now I'm put off by their greediness.

    Guess I'll just have to rock craft store 'Kaviar nails' aka the salty roe mani.

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  5. Was there this sort of hoo haa over magnetics? Sounds like Ciate wanting to cash in.

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  6. I think we should refer to 'it' as the 'nobbly nails manicure' or to channel Harry Potter, 'the manicure that shall not be named'.

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    1. Ha! I like "the manicure that shall not be named". (Will J.K. Rowling come after us?) I very much do not like Ciate being so aggressive with bloggers about this. Surely if bloggers call this "caviar" searches will lead to Ciate's products. I called the look "steel ball nail art" when I did it last November; too bad I didn't think to call it "caviar" so I could be demanding a portion of proceeds from Ciate right now.

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  7. When I heard the Ciate was coming to Sephora I was really excited to try the brand out as I've thought they had some very interesting shades that I wanted, but having read Anna's post this morning it was an easy decision to not purchase any of their product. I just think its a shame to go after a blogger who is ultimately if not directly referencing their product. It would be another matter entirely if it were another polish brand releasing the same or similar product under the name, "Caviar," but it isn't.

    @Amanda: "Salty Roe Mani" ...I love it! lol

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  8. I am totally of the opinion that Ciate have put a lot of time and money into marketing and developing something which is essentially overpriced beads in a fancy packaging. Don't get me wrong I actually like them, in fact I ordered similar 'beads' from eBay 2 days ago. What I don't approve of is Ciate undermining bloggers for finding a cheaper alternative and then using this to try and stop it. I think Ciate need to look closer to home and find out why these people that they pay a hefty wage too did not think about this sooner? At the end of the day they are just beads, plain and simple, Ciate can glam them up with a fancy name and pay a lot of money to get the copywrite on the name but a name does not give a coloured bead a unique selling point, which is essentially what this product lacks!

    Sorry for the long rant :-)

    Becky

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    1. Long rants are welcomed here especially when they have a good point. And yours does and I completely agree. I'm going to rename my mani 'Kaviar' and will do in the future too!

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  9. This is rediculous and very bad publicity and PR for Ciate. I don't think it will do them any favours...

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    1. Yep, that's what I think too. They basically got free advertising just by someone using the word caviar manicure as Google would alway spit out Ciate as a branded product!

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  10. I'm shocked... they can't be serious. Bloggers, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. Don't let them have it so easy!
    Verunka

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  11. I think Ciate is being ridiculous. It makes me laugh that they are getting their panties so twisted about something they stole from another brand and are now trying to claim as their own. Give me a break, Ciate.

    I was very excited to buy from this brand as it is finally coming to the US in Sephora stores. Ciate and their PR fail have saved me a ton of money...I will never buy from them now. The fastest way to kill your brand in the blog world is to go around bullying people in our community. You'd think these companies would learn that in PR 101, don't act like an asshole to the people who you want talking about your products.

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    1. I completely agree Jen and HOW AWESOME is that you read my blog! I love yours and you're like queen of polish bloggers :)

      I think this will completely kill the launch for this products and it will be their own fault. There are people out there who would still buy their set, expecially readers, non bloggers but now? Who knows.. I know it won't be me despite my very good experience with Ciate products.

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    2. <333 I love your blog!

      It'll sure be interesting to see what happens with this now. There are tons of people who would buy the set regardless of being able to do it for cheaper. Ciate needs to realize that bloggers re-creating the look isn't going to hurt their business, if anything it will increase it because we are all mentioning them in our posts.

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    3. Yep, was just saying above that they basically got free advertising just by someone using the word caviar manicure as Google would alway spit out Ciate as a branded product!

      And thank you <3

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  12. I think that this is a very bad PR move on their part. "Caviar" is just the name of a nail manicure technique-like the french nail. It looks very negative on their part when they try to trademark craft store beads in a nail polish bottle. I probably will never buy from Ciate now. Sad. When I decide to try this manicure, I will definitely not buy their overpriced beads in a bottle from Sephora. Ciate, you've just lost a potential customer.

    --Thanks for raising the awareness on this!!

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  13. How ridiculous - if Ciaté didn't want to share the term "Caviar nails", maybe they shouldn't have given such a generic name to something so easy to recreate - after all, not everyone can afford to splash the cash on their stupidly overpriced set. I hope they don't go sending me any snotty emails next!

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  14. Unfortunatelly trademarks are very shady at times. A Japanese food company trademarked the name of a FRUIT (!) that grows all over the Amazon since forever. It turned into an international legal battle and eventually the trademark rights were revoqued. So basically anyone can trademark anything that isn't yet trademarked!

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  15. Wow, I will never but this Brand now. So Sad, Thanks for sharing!

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  17. That is ridiculous, and just falls in line with all other examples of trade marking or patenting stuff that in no rightful way belongs to any person or company. I hope all of you who are reacting to this case, also take a minute to think about the fact that companies such as Monsanto make it illegal for farmers to use the seeds from their own crop to plant new crop, because they've patented the actual seeds, forcing the farmers to buy new, Monsanto-brand seeds, every time they plant. Not trying to guilt anyone here, just seeing a crowd of blog-readers who seem to understand a thing or two about what's fair and what isn't, and want to share other cases that might interest you. Sorry if this is off-topic.

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    1. it is OT but that is quite important issue. I have to be honest I had no idea that this is happening but I already know that Monsanto=evil

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  18. I suddenly have an urge to do a really detailed 'Kaviar' tutorial on my blog! Think you should do one as well! :-)

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    1. i will and tutorial how to make it yourself! Muahahahaha!

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  20. I think that they can not trademark a tecnique for made nail art, is like somebody say that he/she was the first that made gradient, water marble or similar and nobody except her can use it. Yes, they can trademark the name of the polish but no something that isn't a product.

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  21. I'm not someone who goes out of my way to look for new nail products (unless I literally walk into them in a store). I would never have heard of Ciate's Caviar nails if it wasn't for wonderful bloggers like yourself. After seeing the brand I started looking into their other polishes to see if they had more unique polish... I won't be tempted to buy any anytime soon.

    Seems a little ignorant to try to silence all of this free advertising.

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  22. such cheeky mares! That is such a ridiculous move on their part, and I definitely wont be buying ANYTHING from them, especially not their overpriced craft beads!

    I am guessing they will feel pretty dumb after losing alot of customers because of greedily trying to get royalties from something that they did not start or invent!

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  23. How can you trademark sticking metal balls to your nails?!
    I'm literally in shock that an established brand like Ciate is literally going after bloggers who've done nothing but promote their product/method.

    I would never pay Ciate's prices for what is essentially a bottle of metal balls.
    It would be great if bloggers joined forces on this, gave the style a new name (I'm loving Kaviar!) and directed readers to the cheaper alternatives. That's definitely what I'll be doing if I ever post this style of manicure!

    I could go on ranting about this all day but I'll soon get incoherent so I'll leave it there!

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  24. Wow, I think that Ciate just messed up royally!

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  25. lol that's basically what i said on pretty digits' blog. let's round up all the bloggers and everyone post a caviar mani on the same day, and we'll see what ciate does about it then. i wish they would email me that bullshit!

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  26. I am currently in a battle for copyright infringement against companies that are using my nail designs without my consent for commercial purposes. In the course of my legal consultations, I learned that trademarks is within the scope of Intellectual Property rights. Based on the email of Ciate, it does NOT have the right to ask that post to be taken down. A trademark is just a distinctive sign, a symbol, a logo that represents a product. They do NOT have exclusivity to the idea of a "caviar manicure". They may apply for use of using the name "Caviar manicure" (notice the capitalization) but they can never own the idea.

    A collaboration with bloggers seems like a better option for them or perhaps it's too late now.

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  27. BAD . I need some kinda beads fast :)

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  28. Would they prefer for all posts on 'caviar' nails to be called 'the mani style that Ciate copied from Dashing Diva'. There is no need for us to mention caviar nails if they prefer it that way... :P

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  29. This is ridiculous. And weird.

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  30. Ridiculous. They can't OWN something that doesn't belong to them. That's like saying a company wants to own the polka dot nail design, or something...
    I agree with Jackie, they've messed up royally!

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  31. Ah, that's that, no more Ciaté for me. I don't like stinginess! Specially not when it's combined with thievery.

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  32. I think we should start calling them Fish Egg Manis :)

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  33. What can I say, I agree with you. If a brand now decides to trademark "Striped manicure" we would all be in troubles, no? And I agree with some people, no more Ciaté for me (gladly I don't have any but I had always liked their nail polish bottles). If I can I will let them know that! Oh, and thank you for warning us about that!

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  34. This is appauling! And it makes me lose so much respect for the company for the sheer cheek they have in trademarking an idea which isn't expliciltly their own.

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  35. This is ridiculous/annoying...best go and change my latest post then. Sigh.

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  36. If they haven't even trademarked it yet then they don't have a leg to stand on! And how can they have the audacity to try and stop creativity! Just because they are a big buisness and make a lot of money, it's so unfair! You don't see shatter nail polish being trademarked do you!?
    http://prettydigits.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/caviar-nails-again.html

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  37. That is sad...but law is whoever TM's it first has the rights - not who used it first. If they are in the process of TMing then the date they filed is what the TM is retro-active back to once they get the TM. Also to hold the TM in the process - just like in a patten, you take the info (photos, whatever) and mail it to yourself - then don't open it when it arrives. So the info inside is postmarked with the date stamp and that has to be not done on a postage meter or on computer dated stamping - it has to be at the PO going through their machinery. It's best if you also get it notarized as well before you send it off to yourself. But I agree - the idea is used on lips too...and I question since there are caviar beads if anyone can TM a process using the beads that are made by many manufactures. You don't see cookies that have caviar like beads (called draggies) trademarking those! TM's are more for elaborate designs - patterns - etc. This is a random thing - where the beads line up on the nails - color used for base - color used for beads - they seem like they are standing on shaky ground. It also could be a scam too - so be careful folks - it could be a scam to demand payment down the road for using their so called TM name for mails. We don't see acrylic nails or gel nails or Fr. Mani Tm'ed!

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  38. I'm loving the suggested "Kaviar nails" term and the idea of getting all the bloggers to post a manicure in protest on the same day! I would definitely join in! :)

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  39. I emailed for some free legal advice and they said:

    "I note the various rights in Ciate and Caviar owned by Brand Agency (London) and others. These prior rights represent a bar to your using or seeking to register the same names or close variants for the same goods or services. To do so will infringe the other party's registered rights (once granted).

    With regard to opposing a pending application, this is possible on certain grounds, notably prior use of the mark by yourself, or where you can show that the application was filed in bad faith."

    None of us are even trying to sell any goods or offer a service with the same name... arghh

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  40. such a stupidity... bad move for ciate :-p

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  41. Ugh. I hate it when polish companies pull this crap. I was all set to order a few Ciates from Sephora when I had the extra cash, but now I will rethink. Ciate is the new Ginger+Liz. :/

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  42. Like as stated above, it's a technique to create a beaded 3D look. I tried to replicate the "caviar" look using sundae sprinkles. I wonder if I will get hit with a c/d? You can't trademark a technique, it would be like trademarking the half-moon mani or french tip. You trademark the product not the technique; otherwise, track down the first manicurist/artist that developed this idea and give them credit.

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  43. Ciate is off my list of "to buy" polishes.

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  44. Why would anyone want to trademark something so hideous?

    On another note, I'm in the middle of a course on Intellectual Property law and basically they shouldn't be able to successfully trademark (or establish any other IP right) over something that isn't original. They may be attempting to put people off using the mark "Caviar Manicure' by saying they've applied to have it registered - and this will almost certainly have the achieved effect, BUT it does NOT mean that they will be sucessful in their attempt to have it registered and therefore will be unable to legally enforce it.

    I think. I'm not a proper lawyer yet so that may be slightly wrong.

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  45. I don't actually believe Ciate was entirely in the wrong here. it seems to me they r just protecting the link to the name 'caviar manicure' and not saying that we cannot do our own DIY versions atall. from the 'do no refreeze' i understood that ciate did not say we cannot buy our own beads n recreate. i then saw on twitter that they sent yet another email apologising if they offended therefore im sure they didnt mean their first email spitefuly. It was a bad way to go about it but like BBB said - unless u want big corporate brands to take over we have to nurture the smaller brands and not twist the words of those who actually, u will agree, listen to us more than OPI or ESSIE would.

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    1. There's another aspect here that no one else covered. It's a matter of professionalism in the beauty industry as a whole and the nail industry specifically. I'm a professional nail tech and I find Ciate's PR fail to be outright embarrassing. I somehow doubt Max Factor sued Orly for branding "French Manicure" 40 years after he invented it.

      It's the standard in this industry that we don't bully each other in this manner. There's plenty of customers to go around and we instead target our specific customer. That's why this is one of the only growth industry during a world-wide recession.

      I support small brands both as an individual and as a professional. However, I support those small brands who do business according the professional standards I hold myself to. I will NOT support brands who bully someone for NOT promoting their product to an audience that wouldn't spend the cash for it even if they did try to promote it. If you ever want to be big - you have act big! Orly, Essie, OPI, ChinaGlaze, etc all do things like retweets etc that support the blogging community because they recognize the marketing role they play for their brands.

      I still expect Ciate to correct the behavior, send out letters of apologies to those they offended and bring their game the right way.

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  46. Well, it definitely was not bullying was it?
    re-read the email above and think again? I, myself, was not offended, and if i had done a caviar review on my blog and recieved that email - yes, i would be hurt but i wouldn't consider it to be a personal attack as some people are taking it. therefore i think for it to be considered 'bullying' is completely ridiculous

    we have better things to go onto and many other products to blog about and review!! rather than dwelling on this STILL and not just moving on like the grown ups we are? Just my view.

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    1. Sure, everybody is entitled to their opinion and I completely understan yours. I just wanted to share this info because in my opinion Ciate should rather go after brands/new products called Caviar nails rather than bloggers because caviar manicure is a name of a style/technique which was here before Ciate developed their product. that's why think it's rather too much to send these emails to bloggers. we still raised awareness about ciate product because we always said Ciate produced set... inspired by Ciate etc. But that is no longer happenng because of this whole ssue. I think it will hurt them a lot..

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  47. I'm really late to this but I wouldn't have heard or Ciate if no one had blogged about the manicure. So by banning blogger using 'Caviar Nails' there will be loads of people who never heard of their brand because even the ones not using their products referenced them.

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    1. I'm even later, but I agree totally. I first heard of their brand because of the same blogging they tried to stifle, so when I saw their products in Sephora I walked right on by... and then dropped a bill on some other stuff. I vote exclusively with my wallet.

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