The Kardashian/Jenner/Wests – America’s most famous reality television family and co. – have been hit with their fair share of copycat claims. Here is a very brief history of the intellectual property infringement and related allegations that have been lodged against them – from the drama surrounding Kendall and Kylie’s controversial band tees and claims from indie designers that the sisters stole their original designs to the legality of their social media exploits …
1. Kylie Jenner is Being Sued for Allegedly Copying Another Beauty Brand’s Packaging, Trademark. The reality television star-turned-budding makeup mogul has been hit with an interesting trademark action, in which fellow beauty brand Sheree Cosmetics claims that Jenner has run afoul of the law by using its trademark-protected “Born To Sparkle” slogan for a single shade in a larger collection of liquid eyeshadow products and for allegedly copying the “inherently distinctive packaging [of Sheree Cosmetics’ products], by imprinting quotations on the [inside of] products’ packaging.”
2. Kim Kardashian’s KKW Fragrance Co. is Being Sued for “Intentionally Copying” Another’s Trademark. Vibes Media claims that Kardashian’s KKW Fragrance is on the hook for selling a Kimoji fragrance in a bottle that looks a bit too much like the Chicago-based marketing company’s federally registered “Vibes” trademark.
3. Is Kim Kardashian’s New Body Bottle (Legally) Too Similar to Jean-Paul Gaultier’s? Designer Jean-Paul Gaultier took to his brand’s Instagram this spring to shed light on the visual similarity between his classic body-shaped fragrance bottles and the newly-revealed fragrance, KKW Body by Kim Kardashian. The famed couturier seemed to suggest that the reality star-turned-budding consumer goods mogul was inspired by his own 25-year old fragrance range.
4. Kendall Jenner, Apple Music Slapped with Trademark Infringement Lawsuit Over PizzaBoys. Kendall Jenner, DJ Daniel Chetrit, and Apple Music have been slapped with an ugly trademark infringement lawsuit in connection with PizzaBoys, their brand new Beats 1 music show. The name of the show is, according to a new lawsuit, way too similar to a trademark that Robert Karaguezian, a “prominent Los Angeles-based street artist” and the founder of a Los Angeles-based brand and artist collective called Pizzaboyzzz, has been using for almost 5 years.
5. Kim Kardashian Says She’s Too Famous for Consumers to Confuse KKW With Similarly-Named Beauty Brand. Kim Kardashian was slapped with a lawsuit this summer by a Danish makeup artist, who alleges that Kardashian is infringing her brand’s “KW” trademark by way of Kardashian’s similarly-named KKW beauty company. But the mega-star responded saying that due to her “fame and access to over 100 million social media followers,” she does not “need … to trick the public into associating her products with Kjaer Weis in order to gain exposure or traction.”
This case was ultimately settled in November. The terms of which are confidential.
6. The Kardashians’ Instagram Fan Accounts Are Embroiled in a Copyright Mess. Members of the famous family spoke out this year – via social media – about the banning of fan accounts, which are increasingly coming under fire in and out of court based on copyright infringement claims.
7. Kendall, Kylie are Now Facing One Less Lawsuit Over Those Controversial “Vintage” Concert Tees. Kendall and Kylie Jenner were able to quietly settle the strongly-worded lawsuit filed against them by photographer Michael Miller, who claimed that the sisters ran afoul of federal copyright law by putting one of his photos of late rapper Tupac on a t-shirt without his authorization.
8. Kim Kardashian, Urban Outfitters Settle $100 Million Lawsuit Over Patent-Protected Phone Case. In the summer of 2017, Kim Kardashian was sued for $100 million over her go-to iPhone case. According to the case, which was filed by Snap Light, LLC in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in August 2017, 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. That case was settled and dismissed this spring.
9. Is Kanye West’s #YeezySeason6 Campaign Illegal? Kanye West took Instagram by storm early this year when a string of photos hash tagged #YeezySeason6 began to appear. The images, themselves, which were posted by Instagram models, influencers, and friends of the Kimye camp, bear a striking resemblance to the paparazzi-style photographs starring Kim Kardashian that West released late last year to promote his Yeezy Season 6 collection. Was the Instagram flood a coincidence? Of course not. Kanye West, the marketing genius, was at it again.
10. Here is What is Really Going on in that Alleged Yeezy Trademark Battle. This spring, Kanye West made headlines in connection with reports that he was facing a legal battle over his right to use the “Yeezy” trademark on garments. That was largely fake news.
11. Yeezy Slapped with Camouflage Copyright Lawsuit. Kanye West has been accused of copying others’ designs in the past but as of this spring, his Yeezy Apparel, LLC brand is being taken to court for it. According to a lawsuit filed in federal court in Georgia, Columbus-based Jordan Outdoor Enterprises alleges that Yeezy Season 5 contains a handful of garments and accessories – from hoodies and pants to high heels and men’s boots – that make use of camouflage prints that are too similar to a number of its own copyright-protected camo prints.
Yeezy has since responded to the suit, denying that it copied the camo print at issue, and arguing that even if it did make use of the print, it did so with “innocent intent.”