In December of 2017, Nivea owner, Beiersdorf, announced its intention to sue Connie Ferguson’s business, Koni International Brands, over similarities between both companies’ products. Nivea deemed the range of shower gels and lotions, named Connie Bodycare, as an identical match to that of the Nivea products.
Almost a year later, a verdict was finally reached on Wednesday morning when Judge Denise Fisher of the Johannesburg High Court, ruled in favour of the cosmetics giant. She concluded that the similarity between the Nivea and Koni product packaging had the potential to mislead consumers.
Was she wrong? Black Twitter didn’t think she was. The twitter peeps were quick to notice the similarities through witty posts and snapshots of the products on the shelves.
When the Connie brand launched its men's range in 2015, it chose blue, silver, yellow and white for its packaging.
Court papers reveal that Beiersdorf relied on pictures of its packaging dating as far back as 1925, demonstrating the company’s longstanding use of its distinctive blue packing with white writing.
Ferguson and her partner, believed that Nivea was being a bully by stating the following to Destiny Magazine:
“The applicant cannot claim monopoly over the blue, white and silver colours.”
Connie and Nchabeleng (her business partner) told the court that their market research found "men rotated more towards the colour blue and that blue is furthermore regarded as a universal colour for men".
If there was any such time to use gender norms and societal pressures for the sake of saving your skincare line - now would definitely be the time.
The two also claimed that the multinational is just targeting them over other brands like Clere, Vaseline and Protex, which also make use of similar packaging and colour palettes.
Whatever feelings were had at the time of the initial filing, the case wasn’t (unfortunately) taken on an episode of Iyanla Fix My Life, but was decided in the Johannesburg High Court where the Judge did not share those same...feelings. Judge Fisher has ordered Ferguson to come up with new packaging for her Connie Bodycare Men Shower Gel and has been ordered to pay legal costs as well.
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Main image credit: informationcradle.com