Just days after being slapped with a trademark infringement lawsuit in connection with her new beauty brand, Kim Kardashian is being sued for $100 million over her go-to iPhone case. According to a new lawsuit filed by Snap Light, LLC in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Kardashian’s company, Kimsaprincess Inc., is on the hook for promoting LuMee, the light-up phone case ideal for taking selfies, which infringes Snap Light’s own patent-protected iPhone case.
California-based Snap Light alleges in its suit that it obtained rights to the patent-protected phone case via license from Hooshmand Harooni, who filed for and received patent protection for an "integrated lighting accessory and case for a mobile phone device" in 2013 and for a "roller applicator with LED" in 2016. In addition to those two U.S. patents, Harooni currently has 11 pending patent applications in conjunction with the phone case.
Interestingly, this is not the first time the parties have been in court over their rival phone cases. In November, LuMee filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Snap Light over its own patent-protected phone case. That case is still pending before a federal court in Delaware.
In the response to that lawsuit, Snap Light argued that LuMee’s patent was invalid in light of one of its own patent. A spokesperson for Snap Light added that LuMee has asserted a number of patents “against other brands, threatens suit, and bullies retailers into removing products under false pretence, including Snap Light."
Since licensing the patent-protected phone case from Harooni, Snap Light alleges that "it has been extremely difficult for Snap Light to compete in the selfie case market" with Kardashian's active promotion of the LuMee case, which has essentially created a monopoly in the market.
In addition to Kardashian (who receives a percentage of LuMee's profits), Urban Outfitters is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit, having allegedly "benefitted financially through increased sales of the LuMee selfie cases.”
According to a statement from Snap Light’s founder Bardia Rahim, "It's illegal to try and monopolize the market, but more than that, it's un-American to do it when you're being deceptive and unethical the entire time.”
A representative for Kardashian, who called the suit a "shakedown," said: "The patent lawsuit filed by Snap Light has no merit and is just another attempted shakedown. Kim has done absolutely nothing wrong."
UPDATED (March 26, 2018): Per World IP Review, "Kim Kardashian West and retailer Urban Outfitters are seeking to dismiss a patent complaint after coming to a settlement with California-based SnapLight. The three submitted a motion requesting the dispute be dismissed with prejudice at the US District Court for the Central District of California, Southern Division, on Friday, Mach 23."
The terms of the settlement are confidential.
* The case is Snap Light, LLC et al v. KimsAPrincess Inc et al, 2:17-cv-05648 (C.D.Cal).