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Kim Kardashian’s Lawyer Says Small, Black-Owned Business Has No Right To Shut Down Her Brand Over Copyright Claim

Photo: Instagram
Kim Kardashian

Just a week after the launch of her new brand SKKN By Kim, Kim Kardashian is facing some legal issues over the brand's name.

The owner of Beauty Concepts, a Brooklyn-based esthetician clinic, Cydnie Lunsford had previously issued a cease and desist to Kardashian's brand due to the similarities between SKKN and a salon she operates called SKKN+ — a trademark she says she has owned since 2018.

Kim Kardashian's SKKN has now been hit with a lawsuit over the trademark. 

Beauty Concepts operates a brick-and-mortar store called "SKKN+" — a spa and beauty salon offering facials and other treatments.

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Lunsford claimed the similarities between Kardashian’s logo for SKKN and her brand name SKKN+ are grounds for an infringement lawsuit. 

However, Kardashian’s lawyer has called the lawsuit a "shakedown."

In a statement, Kardashian’s attorney, Michael Rhodes defended Kardashian's brand, claiming, "SKKN BY KIM is a new brand that follows in the footsteps of Ms. Kardashian's successful KKW line of products."

The Beauty Concepts owner accused Kim Kardashian's team of ignoring her copyright concerns.

Lunsford claimed that her team had previously reached out to Kardashian regarding the issue but says Kardashian’s team ignored her and went ahead with the launch.

This lawsuit started last year in 2021 when Lunsford sent a cease-and-desist letter to Kardashian’s legal team. Lunsford claimed the rights to the brand’s logo and asked Kardashian’s team to drop the name, but they refused to do so.

   

   

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Rhodes said, “Beauty Concepts then challenged Ms. Kardashian’s trademark applications at the USPTO [U.S. Patent & Trademark Office]. Unsurprisingly, the USPTO rejected Beauty Concepts’ own SKKN+ mark saying that ‘skkn’ just means ‘skin.’”

As a result, Beauty Concepts went through a complete makeover as they changed their store and transformed their website to stand out.  

Rhodes also claimed that Beauty Concepts just had a single salon in Brooklyn and had not sold any products under their brand, SKKN+.

Kim Kardashian’s team is trying to negotiate with Beauty Concepts.

Kardashian's legal team further claimed that they were trying to reach a middle ground with Beauty Concepts to settle the lawsuit. 

Rhodes said, “Several times we reached out to Beauty Concepts, trying to find a sensible path to coexistence. We pointed out that running a small esthetician business in Brooklyn does not give it the right to shut down a global skincare line."

Rhoades accused the brand of not engaging with Kardashian's team beyond demanding money.

Rhodes mentioned, "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.”

The lawsuit is still ongoing and will be presented in court soon.

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Sanika Nalgirkar is a news & entertainment writer at YourTango based in Seattle, Washington. She has a master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of Washington. You can check out some of her writing on her website.

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