US cosmetics firm drops ‘Harry Potter’ lipstick
California-based LASplash Cosmetics sells a range of lipsticks with names also found in JK Rowling’s massively successful series of novels about the child wizard.
The lipsticks – which cost $14 (about £9) – include Bellatrix, a deep shade of purple resembling the pure-blood witch character played in the series by Helena Bonham Carter.
A blood-red shade is called Ravens Claw, a name familiar to Harry Potter fans as one of the four Houses at Hogwarts.
And a shade of pink, called Hermione, will summon up for Potter fans one of the main characters, Hermione Granger played in the films by Emma Watson.
There is also a dark navy lipstick which is called Sirius, and could be inspired by Harry Potter’s godfather, Sirius Black.
Although LASplash have denied taking the names from the Potter franchise, the lipsticks have proved enormously popular with fans of the series, many of whom have posted pictures of themselves on social media wearing the shade of their favourite character.
But the makers of the Potter movies, Warner Brothers, have now written to LASplash alleging that they have infringed their copyright and demanding that they remove the names from the products.
A spokesman for the firm confirmed that they had contacted LASplash concerning their alleged unlicensed use of Harry Potter-related intellectual properties.
LASplash responded yesterday by insisting that their products were not “associated with Harry Potter”.
But the firm added: “LASplash have decided to change our product names to avoid confusion.”
Following on from the news, Harry Potter fans took to Facebook to express their disappointment over the decision to change the names.
One user, Kirsten Carey, said: “Dang it. I wanted to buy them because of the Harry Potter names and colours. I’m still going to buy them but now they won’t have the awesome names on them.”
Bri Williams said: “Well why wasn’t something said months ago? Those names have been on those lipsticks for quite some time.”
And Michele Lisbon asked the firm: “If you are not affiliated then why did you use their names? Didn’t you know about copyright issues?”
Fans of the multi-million-pound franchise have been taking to Instagram wearing the make-up range to share their gothic inspired selfies.
Instagram user Kristynkibler added: “I’m addicted to liquid-to-matte lipsticks and Harry Potter is everything, so when I came across these LASplash Cosmetics beauts my heart exploded.”
The worldwide popularity of the Harry Potter franchise has previously seen Warner Brothers and JK Rowling herself taking legal actions to protect their copyright status.
In 2008, Rowling won a legal dispute against a Harry Potter fan who produced a guidebook to Rowling’s best selling series. It was ruled that the book, Potter Lexicon, was too close to the Harry Potter series.
And in 2004, Rowling’s lawyers contacted a US army magazine, the Preventive Maintenance Monthly, after they included a spoof comic featuring a character called Topper who lived at Mogmarts School under Professor Rumbledore.
After talks with Rowling’s representatives over violating copyright, the magazine agreed not to use the characters again.