Whew, it's been quite a year for Kylie Jenner. Even though she's accomplished so many great things in the past 12 months (like buying a $2.7 million mansion or releasing two sold-out clothing lines for starters), people just can't stop obsessing over one thing: her lips. In fact, her pout became so covetable, that some people were going to extreme measures just to try and recreate 'em IRL. Recently, though, she revealed that her lips weren't just an incredible makeup trick after all–Kylie bravely told the world that she got temporary fillers after battling a longtime insecurity with her pout. But today, we're uncovering another mega secret: There's a chance the youngest member of the Kardashian clan has privately been planning a business venture related to her lips since last summer.
In May, we were tipped off to Kendall and Kylie filing to trademark their first names, but after digging a little deeper under Kylie Jenner, Inc.'s public filing, we stumbled upon another trademark from August of last year: "Kylie's Lip Kit...For The Perfect Pout." *the sound of a billion cars coming to a screeeeeching halt*
A trademark protects brand names and logos used on goods and services, and in this case, she's filing for the phrase to be used on "Lipsticks; make-up kits comprised of lipstick." The address listed for Kylie Jenner, Inc. is in Woodland Hills, California (the same as Kendall Jenner, Inc.), so it seems very likely that this is the real deal. (MTV News has reached out to the attorneys attached to the trademark, and as of press time have not yet heard back.) The sisters trying to protect their first names makes total sense—they are launching a (third!) clothing line called Kendall + Kylie, after all—but what makes this "Kylie's Lip Kit...For The Perfect Pout" trademark especially interesting is that it was filed for before #KylieJennerLips turned into one of the most talked about beauty topics of 2014.
Since it typically takes up to six months for a trademark to be approved (if at all), there have been a series of status updates regarding her application since last summer, and as of July 1, 2015, it says, "Notification of notice of publication e-mailed." Since we're not trademark law experts (surprise!), MTV News asked a lawyer to break down what this actually means.
Tammi Franke, partner at Fitzgerald, Franke & Hewes, LLP in Chicago, said it means they received an email that says the "[t]rademark has been (or will be) published in the Trademark Gazette," which, according to Wikipedia, is a "weekly publication of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) which publishes newly registered trademarks." The latest issue was published today (it's all public!), and even though we don't see Kylie's trademark listed in there yet, it'll probably hit the Gazette next week. (I mean, hi, more than 6,000 trademarks were published last week alone.)
Even though its in the final stage of the process, it still has to go through one last step called "publication for opposition." "It gives anyone who thinks they have a conflicting claim the right to oppose the trademark application," said Franke. "If no opposition is received within 30 days, the trademark registration is issued." Basically, in 30 days Kylie will get this trademark unless someone opposes it with "likelihood of confusion," for example, that time The North Face wasn't too thrilled when a high school student created a parody clothing line called The South Butt. (Seriously. That happened.) OK, cool, but does this prove she's actually making those lipstick kits?
Well, Franke explains that "a trademark application can’t be filed unless the trademark is actually being used on products," but she also elaborates that "[t]here is an exception—you can file an 'intent to use' application before you actually use the trademark, but the applicant must use the trademark within six months for the application to move forward. So, the maximum 'hold' is six months." And, yes, "intent to use" means exactly what it sounds like: The trademark isn't actually in use for marketing or identifying goods or services (yet!), but the applicant, in good faith, intends to use it as a trademark in the future.
Franke continues, "The application relied on a 'bona fide intent to use' so keep an eye out for a 'statement of use' that must be filed within six months of the date the trademark office issued the registration. If the trademark isn’t used within six months, then the registration lapses." Ah-HA. So, if Kylie doesn't file a "statement of use" by January 18, 2016, it means she changed her mind on creating a cosmetics kit or she just cleverly put a hold on anyone else making products off her now-infamous lips. (Personally, we're rooting for some Kylie-approved lipstick.)
Again, the most interesting part about this entire thing, though, is that the application was filed August of last year. If you'll recall, Kylie's lips did not even begin to bubble up as a hot topic until about September. And the prospect of Kylie Jenner makeup tutorials coming in the near future, feels like a pretty good excuse to launch your own products along with them.
We'll get to the bottom of it all soon, but be warned that it's pretty common for celebrities to let their trademarks lapse (Rihanna has a serious history of letting hers expire).