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Paula Dorf-Dekovnick Files Lawsuit Against Namesake Beauty Firm

Suit alleges that Paula Dorf Cosmetics overstepped its use of the Paul Dorf name and associated trademarks.

PAULA DORF FILES LAWSUIT: Paula Dorf-Dekovnick has filed a lawsuit in a Manhattan federal court against Paula Dorf Cosmetics, LLC, alleging that the firm overstepped its use of the Paul Dorf name and associated trademarks.

Paula Dorf Cosmetics Inc. filed for bankruptcy in 2009. As part of its restructuring, it was renamed Paula Dorf Cosmetics LLC in 2010 after Global Beauty Group, via investment capital of $175,000, took a 51 percent stake in the firm, according to the lawsuit. Dorf the makeup artist and her husband retained a 49 percent stake in the reorganized entity. As part of the bankruptcy case, certain rights were given to the LLC regarding use of Dorf’s name under license, legal papers said.

The lawsuit alleged that the LLC “unilaterally usurped rights, such as the right to use Paula Dorf’s life story, persona and image.” Dorf was employed by the LLC until April 2012. During her employment, she said in the lawsuit she was able to “control” the quality of the products and messages bearing her name and life story. It was alleged in the lawsuit that the LLC purportedly exercised its “repurchase rights” and revocation of Dorf’s interest in the company around June 2013, and that the LLC is now producing products at a lower quality standard than when Dorf was at the firm.

Dorf is seeking at least $1 million in actual and enhanced damages, a permanent injunction and reasonble attorney’s fees for claims that include trademark infringement, unfair competition and false advertising.

Jack Sandbach, a principal at Global Beauty Group, could not be reached for comment at press time.

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