Kendall Jenner is suing a California-based skin care company for using her name and likeness without her authorization in an extensive advertising campaign. According to Jenner’s complaint, which was filed on Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California court, beginning this month (and as the complaint correctly notes, right on the eve of New York Fashion Week), “advertisements began appearing in New York City at public places, such as outside New York skin care centers […] that prominently use Kendall Jenner’s name and image to push Cutera’s ‘Laser Genesis’ treatment. The advertisements go so far as to claim that Cutera’s Laser Genesis treatment is responsible for Ms. Jenner’s ‘nearly flawless skin.’” As a result, "Ms. Jenner seeks to hold Cutera accountable for its blatant disregard of her well established rights under state and federal law."
In her complaint, Jenner alleges: "Cutera has used, and continues to use, Ms. Jenner’s name, likeness, identity, and persona in its advertisements in order to confuse the public into believing that Plaintiffs sponsor, endorse and are associated with Cutera. In fact, Plaintiffs do not sponsor or endorse Cutera, and they are not associated with Cutera." However, in actuality, Jenner asserts that she not only did not authorize Cutera to use her name and likeness, she did not agree to be a “face” of its campaign; she alleges that Cutera is "misappropriating" her "hard-earned popularity" in order to boost its own goodwill, which has caused her to suffer irreparable harm. The complaint further notes that “Jenner’s actual endorsement for a worldwide campaign such as this would command a fee well into eight figures,” as “Jenner is one of the world’s most popular supermodels" and "a successful clothing designer."
As a result of Cutera’s allegedly unauthorized use of Jenner’s name and likeness (it posted photos of Kendall in connection with the ads), Jenner is seeking upwards of $10 million in damages in connection with her federal trademark infringement, False Association or Endorsement, Violation of the Right to Publicity Under California Law, and California Common Law Trademark Infringement claims.