Patent lawsuit aims to clip Paris Hilton hair extensions

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Patent lawsuit aims to clip Paris Hilton hair extensions

Wed Sep 29, 2010 @ 01:06PM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Picture 2 EXCLUSIVE BUT SILLY: This might be the hairiest lawsuit ever.

A company called Celebrity Signatures Int'l specializes in selling hair extensions that allow women to look like famous people. On its website, Hair U Wear, the company offers looks ranging from Jessica Simpson to the latest coiffures on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars."

Hairstyle knock-offs, right? Actually, Celebrity Signatures has filed patent applications on its "alternative hair" accessories. So when another hair extension company, HairTech Int'l, began marketing similar looks, Celebrity Signature sued claiming its competitor was selling a knock-offs of its, um, patented knock-off.

That's where Paris Hilton enters the picture.

In a complaint filed Monday in federal court in Missouri, Celebrity Signatures alleges that HairTech is infringing its patents, including clip-in hair extensions branded "Clipin-Go by Paris Hilton" and "Dream Catchers."

According to HairTech's website, the company signed a deal with Hilton in 2007 to be the face of its "Dream Catchers" hair extension line. Are the Hilton fake locks too similar to the Celebrity Signature extensions?

If Celebrity Signatures thinks it has the right to long-flowing hair ala Paris Hilton, perhaps the heiress should sue for misappropriation of likeness. Hilton has some recent success using that legal claim. It's only a matter of time before a court sees hairstyles as a publicity right.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

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