Hip cosmeceutical maker Philosophy has sued the South Florida dermatology practice of Dr. Fredric Brandt for trademark infringment. Philosophy claims that when it adopted the mark HOPE IN A JAR for a moisturizing cream, Dr. Brandt responded by marketing a product called MICRODERMABRASION IN JAR. Similarly, according to Philosophy, its MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE product became LASER IN A BOTTLE when Dr. Brandt got a hold of it.
In this lawsuit, Philosophy is laying claim to several families of marks that end with “…IN A JAR” and “…IN A BOTTLE.” We previously discussed the use of a family of trademarks in connection with supplements, including the FUEL family of marks claimed by TwinLab.
While families of marks can be effective marketing tools, Philosophy’s mark families seem awfully generic to me. The more generic a mark, the more difficult it is to protect, which makes me think of another one of Philosophy’s products, a high-potency vitamin C powder called HOPE AND A PRAYER.