Patent Lawsuit Fight Over Who Has The Right To Sell Paris Hilton Hair Extensions

from the kill-me-now dept

You know what we haven't seen much lately? Patent lawsuits that are hot -- to use Paris Hilton's favorite phrase. Well, Hilton, herself, may end up getting involved in this lawsuit pointed out by Eriq Gardner over at THREsq. Apparently a company called Celebrity Signatures Int'l went out and patented (7,735,495) a way of making hair extensions, and has built a business selling hair extensions of the rich and famous. I'm not kidding. If you want your hair to look like Raquel Welch or Jessica Simpson, that's the place to go apparently -- and, that's the only place they want you to go because (remember) they've got the patent.

So, when another firm came along, named HairTech Int'l, and started selling hair extensions to make your hair look like Paris Hilton's, Celebrity Signatures got angry and threatened to sue. After being told that HairTech was no longer making the product, it backed off, but upon learning that the Paris Hilton extensions were back on the market, it called up the patent attorneys and filed a lawsuit.
Beyond just straight patent infringement, the company is also jumping on the patent marking bandwagon, and claiming that HairTech is falsely claiming that its product is "patent pending," when that's not true. Of course, it could be that HairTech has applied for its own (equally ridiculous) patent on celebrity hair extensions, and the application just hasn't been published yet, so it's not clear how Celebrity Signatures knows for certain that there's no patent application here.

Either way, the whole thing seems a bit silly. And, as Gardner notes towards the end of his writeup, it seems like there may also be some potential publicity or "misappropriation of likeness" claims that could get Hilton involved. She has apparently licensed the right to sell such hair extensions to HairTech, so even if Celebrity Signatures prevails, it's not like it can easily go out and sell Paris Hilton hair extensions. Though, frankly, perhaps that's not such a bad thing. Either way, as Gardner jokingly points out, both companies product lines are built off of "knocking off" celebrities, so perhaps they shouldn't be so quick for someone else supposedly "knocking off" their own "knock off" designs.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Jay (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 1:31pm

    This whole thing is unbe-weave-able.

    I can't believe that people are going "Horse" shit crazy over this.

    But I guess hair will always be serious business.

     

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  2.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 1:39pm

    Re:

    "This whole thing is unbe-weave-able."

    Meh, I just brush the issue aside....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 1:45pm

    Re:

    Dang patent crap!

    They should just cut it out.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Re:

    Perhaps they just didn't have time to comb through the details?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Given their business, I'd hope they have it thoroughly straightened out!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 2:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, they can always go take it back. It's not permanent....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    As long as they don't over-extend themselves.

     

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  8.  
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    Eugene (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I can't believe these companies are wigging out over something so trivial. Let's hope the situation doesn't get too hairy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    danny (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 2:37pm

    Jenny Lind hair extensions?

    People have been trying to look like celebrities well before Farah Fawcett and Dorothy Hamill had "signature" hairdos. There must be some prior art that invalidates this patent.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 2:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't think there's much hope of that. They're clearly curling their lips and baring their teeth....

    If things don't gel quickly here, it could get ugly....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    slander (profile), Sep 30th, 2010 @ 3:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Having (unfortunately) already seen the pictures, I assure you it is...

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 3:17pm

    I will patent the celebrity prison doll, no not that kind of doll you pervert the one like barbie clothed with a orange jumpsuit, ankle monitoring attachments and all that s. LoL

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    dave parker, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 3:54pm

    HairTech is falsely claiming that it's product is "patent pending. Apostrophe's and they're use's.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 4:25pm

    Snicker all you want, and then dig a little and find out just how much money is involved in the "weave" and "extensions" industry. You might also want to take a look at Chris Rock's "Good Hair", and particularly the last 1/2 hour or so when numbers are being bandied about.

    When you put your jaw back in place perhaps this suit will not seem so silly after all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Sargent Patent, Sep 30th, 2010 @ 7:20pm

    HairBrains!

    You people make me SICK! Do you poor schmucks even understand how important prosthetic innovation is to the handicap? You criticize every patent that covers a process. What's the matter with you?! what would the world do without innovative companies like Microsoft, The Right bros., Einstein, Gallagher and, YES Celebrity Signatures! As usual, you haven't even READ THE PATENT MIKE! It wouldn't matter even if you did, you have no formal law degree, therefore you're incapable of comprehending the complexity of patent law, and this is one of the best patents I've ever seen. This is pure THEFT of intellectual property, which is just like real property, whether you want to admit it or not. HairTech could have simply licensed the patent, instead it chose to disregard it, thereby denying the inventor of this fine prosthetic, the capitol to advance research in it's field. Celebrity Signatures may have used that money to invest in potential breakthroughs in the prosthetics industry, that may have helped millions of children who suffer from the devastating effects of Alopecia Areata. Or soldiers coming back from Iraq. Instead Those children will go without life altering prosthetics, Soldiers will lament in social angst, FORCED to settle for B and C list star hair extensions. Do you know how deafening the silent shame of a soldier who had to wear Kathy Griffin's hair to PTSD therapy is Mike? It's all because of the despicably selfish theft committed by those that dont respect the constitution, hate sick children and war heroes and want the industry to stand still LIKE IT DID IN THE DARK AGES!

    So... how much are they paying you Mike? Are they slipping you a little kick back hair? A little Greyola to grease the shills? you make me sick!

    DISMISSED!

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Pete Austin, Oct 1st, 2010 @ 2:57am

    Re: HairBrains!

    @Sargent Patent: If you are going to criticise people for not reading a patent, the least you can do is help them read it, by linking to the thing. Here it is:
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/38302242/Partial-cap-hair-accessory-US-patent-7735495

    The patent is for a partial wig that clips on the back of your head - a bit like a reversed toupee. Its special feature seems to be that the wig is in several parts: a mesh and separate bunches of hair that you can clip to it. I very much doubt that this is a new concept - I think I say something similar in a TV program about Madam Tussauds.

    Yes, a good wig might help a wounded soldier, but what is the relevance to Paris Hilton and this lawsuit?

     

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  17.  
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    btrussell (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 4:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    In the end, they'll split...

     

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  18.  
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    Shadow Six (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 1:47pm

    Re: Re: HairBrains!

    wait... it's a prosthetic mullet?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    Eugene (profile), Oct 1st, 2010 @ 6:04pm

    Re: HairBrains!

    Techdirt commenters are very dedicated to the art of crafting overly-passionate parody posts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    David "Lefty" Schlesinger, Oct 6th, 2010 @ 5:15am

    I'm Curious

    Has anyone, either the author or any of the commenters here, actually read this patent? I'm taking a quick look at it, and I'm not seeing any obvious reason why this patent is "ridiculous".

    Maybe it's the mention of Paris Hilton. Or maybe it's some baseless idea that patents only apply to things made out of gears. I'm really not certain. I don't get it.

    (And it's not that I don't "get" patents: I've been paid to read, and write, them professionally.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Liam Sanders, Oct 14th, 2010 @ 6:09pm

    They are using Paris for business. I've read the patent and it's baseless! human hair extensions | clip on hair extensions

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    feather extensions, Jun 16th, 2011 @ 8:23pm

    feather extensions

    The best cheap and fashion trend is the feathers now, All of the people like wear feathers. It looks their hair beautiful and long than before. feather extensions wholesale

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Eva Watson, Jan 31st, 2014 @ 12:11am

    Hair Extensions

    i found that now-a-days every one is talking about hair extensions. Great thing about hair extension is its comes in all shades & style. I too feel to get it done, but woried about dose it has any side effects.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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