It’s not easy being one of the most famous people in the world, especially when you try to… uhmm… borrow inspiration for brand names. Such is the case of Kim Kardashian, who is being sued for trademark infringement.
An american businesswoman, Cydnie Lunsford, owner of the beauty salon called Beauty Concepts, claims to have been using the term “SKKN+” since August 2018, as well as owning the www.skknplus.com domain name. Moreover, on March 28th, 2021 she had filed for the “SKKN+” trademark for beauty salon and skincare services.
In what might only be considered a lucky instance of parallel thinking, Mrs. Kardashian’s legal team filed on March 31st, 2021 for several trademark applications for the term “SKKN BY KIM” for skincare products and miscellaneous merchandise. Additionally, several months later Kim Kardashian also filed for the “SKKN” trademark.
Given her seemingly prior intellectual property rights, Mrs. Lunsford had sent a cease and desist in an attempt to halt the unlawful use of the “SKKN” trademark by the famed reality star.
However, her attempts were met with pushback by Kim Kardashian’s legal team, who claimed that they see no fault in using said term. One of the lawyers is credited with saying “We pointed out that running a small esthetician business in Brooklyn does not give it the right to shut down a global skin care line”, adding that “Since we’ve done nothing wrong, we stood our ground.”
Now we must ask ourselves a few key questions, namely is it lawful for a wealthy and “global skin care line” to use a prior trademark of a small business and could such a descriptive term “skin/skkn” be registered for skincare products?
Currently, all these questions are unanswered, but we might soon find out the conclusion, given that Mrs. Lunsford has sued Kim Kardashian on June 28th, 2022 for trademark infringement and unfair competition, unlawful deceptive acts and business practices, civil conspiracy, common law unjust enrichment and reverse confusion