Goop of a mess

Goop of a mess

Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle site sued for copyright infringement.

She might be a critically-acclaimed actress with an Academy Award and an Emmy under her belt, but Gwyneth Paltrow is proving to be a horrible businesswoman.

Her lifestyle and e-commerce website Goop has been hit with a lawsuit for trademark infringement.

Nutrition expert Charles Platkin, who owns the trademark Diet Detective, is suing her company, alleging that Goop infringed on his copyright.

According to the legal papers obtained by celebrity news website Radar Online, Mr Platkin claims that Goop engaged in "deliberate and unconscionable actions in infringing on Plaintiff's trademarks".

According to the Daily Mail, the court documents said the article read: "Today on goop: Diet Detective/Nutritionist Kelly Dorfman takes the mystery out of what might be plaguing our systems - and presents a programme for picky eaters."

He is seeking a court order barring Gwyneth from using his trademarked name Diet Detective.

The civil suit is the latest in a series of problems that Paltrow is dealing with in her Internet business.

Critics have already blasted the actress for being out of touch in promoting expensive organic food and ritzy decor items on her website, like a US$1,920 marble-topped table, a US$55 "rare botanic candle" and US$125 backgammon set.

Despite its upscale branding, Goop appears to be in terrible financial shape.

Its corporate financial reports in April showed that in 2011, Goop incurred a loss of £152,060 (S$315,000) and in 2012, it incurred a loss of £23,718, even though it had sales of £908,378 that year.

Paltrow and then CEO Sebastian Bishop paid themselves a total of £350,000 in salary and gave themselves interest-free loans.

In April, US Magazine reported that Mr Bishop had resigned and a source said they had disagreed on the direction of the company, and that she used the website as a vehicle for her personal life.

This article was first published on Aug 25, 2014.
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