Cosmetics company forced to drop “Harry Potter” lipsticks


A COSMETICS firm is changing the name of its Harry Potter-inspired range following an allegation of copyright breach.

California-based LASplash Cosmetics sells a range of lipsticks with names also found in JK Rowling’s massively successful series of novels.

The lipsticks – which cost $14 (about £9) includes Bellatrix, a deep shade of purple resembling the pure-blood witch character played by Helena Bonham Carter.

"Sirius" lipstick. Jazzzy.jess@instagram
“Sirius” lipstick. @instagram/Jazzzy.jess

A blood-red shade is called Ravens Claw, a name familiar to 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, played in the films by Emma Watson.

There is also a dark navy lipstick called, Sirius, which could be inspired by Harry Potter’s godfather, Sirius Black.

"Raven Claw"  @instagram/Withalittlewit
“Raven Claw” @instagram/Withalittlewit

Although LASplash deny 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.

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 (Wed) 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.”

"Bellatrix" @instagram/xxno_one_shines_foreverxx
“Bellatrix” @instagram/xxno_one_shines_foreverxx

Following the news, Potter fans took to Facebook to express their disappointment.

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 aren’t affiliated then why did you use their names? Didn’t you know about copyright issues?”

LASplash have since removed the shades
LASplash have since removed the shades

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 said: “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 seen Warner Brothers and JK Rowling herself taking legal actions to protect their copyright.

HP Make up 1

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 contact 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 magazines agreed not to use the characters again.