Covet & Mane, LLC v. Invisible Bead Extensions, LLC

Full title: COVET & MANE, LLC, Plaintiff, v. INVISIBLE BEAD EXTENSIONS, LLC, et al., Defendants.

Court: United States District Court, S.D. New York

Date published: Sep 18, 2023

Facts

This case is about hair extensions, or “hair wefts.” “A hair weft is a collection of hair strands that are affixed to a thread or other linear material and attached to a person’s natural hair to add volume and/or extend length to a person’s real hair.” SAC ¶ 13. As alleged by C&M, “hair extensions, but especially extensions that are sewn into a person’s natural hair, are common and central to the black community,” dating “back to their West African heritage where this practice is still used.” Id. ¶ 14.

C&M’s founder, Dafina Smith, was taught how to do hair extensions by her sisters and friends when she was growing up. Id. ¶ 15. Her process is to “separate the natural hair into sections and attach a bead to each section.” Id. ¶¶ 15, 22. She then “attaches] the weft of hair by  sewing the weft above, below, and/or around the bead . . . with common sewing stitches. Id. ¶ 15. These beads are “hidden under the added hair wefts” and are commonly known as “invisible beads-not because they are physically invisible but because they are used in a way that creates seamless blending, which renders them invisible.” Id. ¶¶ 22, 35. Smith’s process is the same process that has been commonly used in the black community for decades. Id. ¶ 35. She grew up working at her family’s beauty supply store in Minneapolis, before developing an e-commerce division called “Sunny’s Hair Institute,” which offered “educational classes on various hair techniques, including how to apply hair extensions to human hair.” Id. ¶¶ 19-21. She also blogged about her hair extension application technique in 2010 and created a video class demonstrating the technique, which was promoted on YouTube in 2012. Id. ¶¶ 23-28.

Issue

Decision

For the reasons discussed, IBE’s objections to the decision are overruled, and the Court adopts the report and recommendation portion of the decision in its entirety and thus dismisses  C&M’s product disparagement claim with prejudice. The Clerk of Court is respectfully directed to close Docket Number 128.

SO ORDERED.

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