Kim Kardashian is using her celebrity to bully a small business for the rights to a skincare line, according to a new lawsuit … but Kim’s legal team says it’s nothing more than a “shakedown effort.”
Kim is being sued for trademark infringement over her new brands, SKKN and SKKN BY Kim, by a company out of Brooklyn called Beauty Concepts, which claims it owns the rights to “SKKN+” and says Kim’s use of the moniker on her beauty products is confusing customers.
According to the lawsuit, obtained by TMZ, Beauty Concepts says it’s a Black and woman-owned business that survived the pandemic, and moved up to a brick-and-mortar store only to learn Kim K was launching her new brand with a strikingly similar name.
In the docs, Beauty Concepts says it reached out to Kim’s team after she filed papers trying to lock up rights to “SKKN” … informing her it already held the trademark for “SKKN+” and asking Kim not to use similar branding. The company claims Kim’s team ignored the request and pushed forward, releasing her line anyway.
Kim’s attorney, Michael Rhodes, is pushing back, telling TMZ … “This lawsuit is not what it seems. SKKN BY KIM is a new brand that follows in the footsteps of Ms. Kardashian’s successful KKW line of products. Building on independent research and development, her company filed a trademark application for SKKN BY KIM to protect the new branded products. This prompted the current shakedown effort.”
Rhodes says, “We applaud Ms. Lunsford for being a small business owner and following her dreams. But that doesn’t give her the right to wrongfully claim that we’ve done something wrong. In its letter, Beauty Concepts claimed to own rights to a logo made up of SKKN+, and had just filed for trademark protection for that logo. The business was a one-person shop offering facials from a single Brooklyn location. The salon had no signage and was by appointment only. To our knowledge, Beauty Concepts sold no products under the SKKN+ name.
He continues, “Beauty Concepts asked that we drop the SKKN name. Of course, we said no. Beauty Concepts then challenged Ms. Kardashian’s trademark applications at the USPTO. Unsurprisingly, the USPTO rejected Beauty Concepts’ own SKKN+ mark saying that “skkn” just means “skin.” Undaunted, Beauty Concepts then tried to make its business seem more than it was – it leased a new storefront, changed its website, etc.”
Rhodes says Kim’s team tried to work with Beauty Concepts to figure something out, and says he “pointed out running a small esthetician business in Brooklyn does not give it the right to shut down a global skincare line.”
Kim and Beauty Concepts are still battling over who has the trademark rights … and Kim’s attorney says BC filed this suit to try to leverage a settlement and score a big payday.
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