January 2018. On 5 January, Vlada Haggerty, a Ukrainian photographer and make-up artist, took cosmetics giant Louis Vuitton to court in the US for allegedly infringing the copyright to two of her photos.

‘Liquid Gold’ and ‘Rose Gold Lip Art’: two photographs by Haggerty

Copyright and trademark right

Ms Haggerty is best-known for her close-ups of lips. ‘Rose Gold Lip Art’ and ‘Liquid Gold’ are two of these photos, showing ‘dripping’ lips. Haggerty not only claims the copyrights for these works, but she apparently also registered one of them as a trademark.

Haggerty is famous for her close-ups of lips

Permission refused

In the lawsuit, Haggerty claims that Louis Vuitton on several occasions asked for her permission to use the photos in its advertising. When she consistently refused, the company made its own photos and created a logo for its Lustrous brand that she alleges was copied from her own ‘dripping lips’.

Not the first time

Incidentally, this isn’t the first ‘war of lips’ Haggerty has been involved in. In 2016 she clashed with TV personality and model Kylie Jenner, whom she accused of stealing the ‘lip art’ from her Instagram account. The case was settled in early 2017.

Bas Kist