August 2, 2012

Victoria’s Secret Against Urban Decay’s “Naked” Trademark

Victoria’s Secret Nakeds Palette
doesn’t not evoke my idea of naked, natural shades in all honesty. I said as much in my review. Now if I really wanted to define the naked, natural eye look that award, in my opinion, would go to Urban Decay with their Naked Palette.

However, according to many news sources including, Urban Decay has filed a compliant against Victoria’s Secret for being, well naked. reports that Victoria’s Secret filed a suit this week in reply to a complaint by Urban Decay.

Urban Decay sent an open letter to Victoria’s Secret on July 18th asking that Victoria’s Secret cease using the word “naked” which promoted Victoria’s Secret to file their suit. Both brands have been getting “naked” in a few collections and products since 2010.

I don’t have any inside info on this case nor have I discussed it with either brand. Information is readily available on a number of news sites at the moment and I left out a few of the nastier things I’ve read about the suit as I don’t have information about these details first hand.

I know many of you felt like Victoria’s Secret the Nakeds Palette was very similiar to Urban Decay’s Naked Palette. I, however, didn’t really see those similarities especially after using both.

I’m unsure how I feel on this one at the moment. It’s a little confusing. I don’t think Urban Decay has much to worry about, they are, in my opinion, a top player in the cosmetic world and don’t really need to worry about Victoria Secrets’ use of the word “naked” particularly when referencing cosmetics. I just think they have the better quality product no matter who uses the name. Plus naked…gosh that’s hard to not use when referencing certain shades of shadow, etc…

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Caroline

    This reminds me of the whole Vanilla Ice, Queen, and David Bowie lawsuit back in the day. Remember “Ice Ice Baby”? (who doesn’t). This is probably similar situation with VS and UD. Though the palettes are different in many ways, the names are extremely similar except for the “s” added to VS. I’m not confused and will always love my UD Naked & Naked2 palettes. Get original, people’s! 😉

    • 18thCenturyFox

      Do you remember VI describing how Ice Ice Baby was different? It was literally a ONE note difference. That whole thing was so ridiculous, but sampling and autotune seem to have become the crutches for those who cannot write or perform music . =,(

  • Ljana

    I agree, the VS one isn’t anything to write home about even based on photos. Apart from the name, the design seems to mimic that of UD’s too, and pretty obviously too – even to the font and the little gaps in the letters. I guess UD know they’ve got a cult product on their hands, so not sure why they’d go through the hassle (and expenses) of filing a complaint. Not like any of us will be swapping it for the VS version any time soon.
    Btw, I do consider UD Naked to be THE nude, neutral look, but only from Virgin up to Buck. The rest is more on the smoky side, imho. It’s semi-Naked, so to speak.;)
    Oh, and I’d love a little UD quad with Sin, Virgin, Buck and Naked for travel. They could call it UberNaked or something.

    • Kaitlin

      A quad with Sin, Virgin, Buck, and Naked would be the most ridiculous dream come true!

    • Jordan

      I totally agree most of the colors past buck are dark, smokey and sparkly not really that naked in my opinion either…

      • Majick

        I think your idea is hilarious – GREAT – but funny too. UD should definitely do that. They could even get really crazy and have a “half naked” palette for every skintone. LOL (whew, talk about marketing) LOL

    • TwirlyGirly

      Wouldn’t the darker shades in the UD Naked palette be nudes on women of color?

  • Kate

    Urban Decay has no right or reason to cause such a fuss over the word IMHO. They were hardly the first to use “naked” in reference to an eye product or even a whole collection. I still have a “naked” kit from BE that came out around 2001. The palettes aren’t even similar, I agree. This is so silly, but I’m not surprised given how they (UD corporate) has conducted themselves lately.

    • the Muse

      kate, I think the term is definitely very broad. I’ve come across a TON of “naked” palettes and collections in my makeup life 😀 It’s hard to pin naked on just one brand!

      • Majick

        Let’s go back further shall we? Anyone remember Ultima II – The Nakeds?
        I think that was the first collection Promoting the neutral or naked face. It was late 70s or early 80’s if I remember correctly.

  • Sarah S.

    Looks like the UD lawyers who now don’t have to worry about the legal hassles of entering the Chinese market are trying to justify their jobs 😛

  • Tammie

    Maybe it’s because of the font used for the word “Naked” which looks very similar? That’s the only thing I can think of in this case…

      • Tammie

        I dunno, there have been a lot of “nude” palettes that have been using various forms of the word “naked” or “nude” in the name/on the palette or the general idea of a nude/naked palette such as NYX, the Balm and Lorac that I can think of off the top of my head. But the font used on the VS box is actually sort of similar (but not the same, and definitely not similar enough to warrant confusion or whatever would get UD so upset as to sue) to the one used on the UD Naked palettes, which is why I think that is what it is… I mean, if that’s not it then why aren’t they suing the other companies too?

        • the Muse

          the name is overused in the makeup world that’s for sure! the only thing I can think of is that UD plans on going further with Naked in the future and doesn’t want any other brands coining the word so to speak. At this point I’m a little hazy who used it first, that would be a big determining factor I imagine for the suit. I understand UD trademarked it though so it does step on toes when something is duplicated in such a similiar way. I didn’t REALLY get the naked vibe from VS, it just seems an entirely different palette to me.

  • Charlotte

    Considering that VS has an entire line of products named The Nakeds, UD doesn’t stand much of a chance.. won’t keep them from stirring up trouble though. Rather petty IMO.

  • Littlecreek

    I get where UD is coming from. Similar packaging, same font, even the brand name is in the same spot (bottom right). Blatant rip off. While we know the difference since we do things like read beauty blogs, not everyone is as informed and could confuse the two. Ive had to stop my mother/family too many times to count when she saw a similar logo and thought it was one brand when it was really a copy cat. Does that mean UD owns the word Naked, no, does it mean that they should defend their brand against obvious copy-cats, yes. As said by many, the quality of VS is inferior and if people are thinking they have a product associated with UD, it can reflect poorly on the brand. Since VS pallette is already out, nothing will probably come of the lawsuit; just UD making it known not to copy their packaging.

    • the Muse

      brooke, you make a valid point. I never really considered non makeup junkies making the mistake, but that’s true, some people, could potentially mistake it for UD.

    • Jilliterate

      Totally agree. When I saw the review of the VS palette, I raised my eyebrows because they were so blatantly “borrowing” the look from UD, right down to suspiciously similar font. It’s one thing to be on-trend, but I really feel like the look/name of the VS palette was an intentional attempt to make sales by taking advantage of customers who might not be as educated on cosmetics as some of us are. I definitely have friends who have seen me using the Naked palette, and would totally grab The Nakeds thinking it was the same thing.

      That said, I don’t think UD has much of a leg to stand on. When you use a word as generic as “Naked” to name a palette, well, yeah, you’re going to have brand confusion later. I think VS is less-than-innocent in all of this, and it doesn’t endear me towards them, but UD needs to get over the fact that they don’t own the word “naked.” If they wanted a more enforceable trademark, they should have named the palette “Chazzwozzers” or something.

  • Michelle

    I actually suspected something like this was going to happen b/c the VS palette is such a blatant ripoff of UD’s much better (IMHO) one. This is all rather silly, though, and I’m sure nothing will come of it.

  • Elysia

    I think it’s stupid that VS had to use such a similar looking photo. MAYBE they can get away with using the work naked (i don’t think they should) but come on, the same look? They should have to change that

    • Elysia

      after reading everyone else’s comments, I guess UD shouldn’t be so mad about them using the word “naked”, but I def think VS should def change the font of the word

  • 18thCenturyFox

    Of course V.S. is ripping them off. Then again about 8 years ago they “adopted” a number of very Agent Provocateur-esque designs. Then they ripped off Juicy with their “Pink” line. This is How They Do.

  • Mary the Muse Militant

    I think UD should stay out of the limelight since they had so much trouble over their entrance into China. I won’t buy anything UD anymore because I don’t like their stance any longer. As all the comments have already said – Naked is used by many cosmetic companies. What next? Will they think they own the term Smokey?

    • dangster

      I think you are missing the point. It’s not the fact that VS has a product with the name “Naked” in it. It’s the fact that they blatantly ripped off the design of a product. Aside from using the word “Naked” (as if adding “the” and an “s” at the end changes things), they used the same font, same name brand placement, and same eyeshadow concept/scheme. This is what UD has an issue with.

      Victoria’s Secret is honestly no different than that scumbag Steve Madden, who, among other things, has literally copied from numerous designers.

      • the Muse

        please no harming steve madden shoes in the posting of comments ;-D

      • Anne

        haha.. no other company can ever come up with a neutral eye palette because Urban Decay finally came out with one in 2010? VS came up with Naked FIRST–but it was part of a lingerie line. The palettes really look nothing alike, other than an uppercase font. There are tons of literal replicas of the Naked palette (F21, for example) that hold for a more justified case.

        I mean really, how could Victoria’s Secret–the most popular lingerie company in the US–NOT come up with a “naked” makeup palette? Given their wavering stance on their supposed ‘core values’, Urban Decay reads more as “” than VS.

  • Nat

    How silly. I don’t think anyone would confuse one for the other.

    I use my UD Naked more than any other eyeshadow in my collection; loves it so much.

  • SJG

    Littlecreek is absolutely right. VS is trying to capitalize on the tweens and women who don’t shop at Sephora or Ulta but have heard about this “Naked” palette. It would be one thing to call it “naked sexy” with a different font, but the font is nearly identical. VS has gotten sued before decades ago, one of their perfume bottles was very similar to an Escada bottle. Then again, you go into TJ Maxx or wherever and see those crappy ripoffs of the VS Secret Garden line…so tit for tat, I guess.

  • Anne

    Victoria’s Secret’s “Naked” line came before Urban Decay’s. Given that VS is a lingerie store, the use of “Naked” in makeup is completely warranted if not expected.

    Other than similar fonts, the palettes really look nothing alike. If Urban Decay is feeling so litigious, they should sue Forever21. I mean, the actual VS logo is in a similar uppercase font.

  • Ciambella

    I’m guessing UD’s riled over the trademark and trade dress issue. If you check the USPTO’s database, UD does own several live trademarks associated with “Naked,” including this stylized logo:

    As others have pointed out, part of the analysis is going to look at the likelihood of confusion. This actually doesn’t even require proof of actual confusion, mind; the test is whether a purely hypothetical, “reasonably prudent consumer” would be confused about the source of the allegedly infringing product. Not drawing any legal conclusions here or anything, but I think UD has reason to bring the lawsuit. Did UD do anything new with the entire “naked” palette concept? Nah, not really. The whole point of a certain makeup style is to make people look like “themselves, but better.” But was VS specifically trying to emulate UD’s Naked palette style with their own color scheme, palette style, look and feel, and text? That’s debatable and, for UD, probably worth going to court for. I know it just looks like a lot of lawyer antics, but IP can be a valuable asset, and for UD this is one type of IP of theirs that they actually can protect.

    Besides, I don’t think we have to worry about VS being “bullied” by UD or anything–they might not be doing super well now compared to a few years ago, but they’ve been playing with the big dogs long enough to not be total n00bs at the game anymore.

    • Ciambella

      Sorry, I forgot that TESS does live searches–but if you search TESS for “Urban Decay” as the owner and “Naked,” you’ll find the “Naked” marks that UD owns, both living and dead. The stylized logo is serial number 85244803.

  • Trina

    I think its kind of ridiculous that UD is making a huge deal about this. Ive seen other cosmetic brands that have used “naked” as a nude theme (nyx did it too). I actually like this idea from victoria’s secret and I like that their palette is only 28 dollars. I have been wanting to try the naked palette from UD but I just cannot stand spending 50 dollars on eyeshadow. I will probably get the VS one now as a compromise : )