A major cosmetics brand forced two young Martinican entrepreneurs to change their company’s name

Coralie and Kenji chose a name for their company, but a luxury brand also chose it for one of its products. The method of opposition to the brand forced them to change their name after almost two years of existence. They tell their story on their Social Networks.

A coconut flower and a name, “Liquid Sunshine”, in calligraphy, is the brand logo of the company created by Coralie and Kenji in November 2020.

Things that please since many years, the brand has expanded its clientele. But this wonderful adventure took a turn for the worse a few weeks ago.

In June 2021, the Dior brand sent us a letter asking us to remove everything in two weeks.

Coralie Tally, manager of Liquid Sunshine

This haute couture brand that specializes in fashion and accessories, but also in perfume and beauty, accused them of using the name of one of its products.

We wanted to register our brand and we received an objection from the Dior brand in November 2021. It was very surprising to receive this from a big brand. He registered the term “Liquid sun” for a product called “Dior Bronze”. “Liquid sun” is a translation for “liquid sun”, a water that sees itself. There is no risk of confusion between our products as they clearly refer to the product brand.

The brand produces artisanal cosmetics from local products.

©Instagram Capture Liquid Sunshine

I contacted INPI [NDLR Institut national de la propriété industrielle] and I asked what we should do. They told me that they have no obligation for us to change our brand name, but we are not protected. If someone decides to call themselves Liquid Sunshine and make the same products as us, we will not be protected because our brand name is not registered. Since we didn’t have to, we gave ourselves the time and thus the necessary budget to change our name.

The luxury brand did not hear it at all and sent a letter in June 2022. The young entrepreneurs tried to negotiate by hiring a lawyer who sent a letter to the brand. But the answer, which came at the beginning of last week, was without appeal. Administrators must comply by the end of August.

We are forced to do so. We don’t have the financial means to start a legal battle with Dior. Technically we could win because the law is on our side, but we know it doesn’t work that way and we don’t risk paying for brand damage, so we have no way to get into a legal fight with them.

But changing the name of a company after almost two years of existence involves many risks and costs.

It is very difficult to find a name that fits the brand because you are already used to the one you have. It’s a great idea to choose it. For the legal part, you need to change everything grafted, there is a risk of having to close the business to open another one. Everything has to change. We have a big digital presence so we had to change our website, remove all our publications on Social Networks. This is the history of our brand that we are removing. All our work we destroy. We will try to save the furniture, but between the website, the networks to be taken and the press relations to be made. The public who knew the old name must also be won back.

After a period of anger then doubt. Coralie and Kenji decided not to let it get them down. They are hoping for more time to find a new name and a new logo. They even encouraged their community to join in the search for their new identity.

Thus, like a phoenix, their company will be reborn to shine “higher and brighter” and reach the international market, they hope.

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