On the same day as Kylie Jenner was sued for allegedly copying the artwork of London-based artist Sara Pope, her sister Kim Kardashian was slapped with a lawsuit by Kirsten Kjaer Weis, a Danish makeup artist, who alleges that Kardashian is infringing her brand by way of Kardashian’s newly-launched beauty company, which bears the “KKW” trademark.
According to Weis’s lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, she has made use of her federally registered “KW” trademark since September 2010 on cosmetics and that Kim K is infringing that mark with her KKW cosmetics line.
Weis alleges in her suit that Kardashian’s use of the KKW logo is causing confusion amongst customers (the central issue for trademark infringement suits), and that such use was a “knowing, willing, and deliberate” choice made by Kardashian, whose KKW brand is a “direct competitor” of Weis’s line.
A spokesman for Weis said in a statement: “This lawsuit is about protecting our reputation and our business. We have worked hard over many years to establish our brand identity and our unique market position.”
On the other hand, a representative for Kardashian said, “There is no merit to this lawsuit. Before launching, Kim received approval for KKW, KKW BEAUTY, and KKW FRAGRANCE from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. When Ms. Weis asked for a re-examination, the USPTO again approved the brand names for Kim’s company a second time. Kim has done everything by the book.”
While it is rare that we side with the Kardashian/Jenners on copying claims, in the case at hand, it appears that Weis’ allegations seem extremely tenuous at best (it is hard to believe that consumers believe that Kardashian and Weis’s products are in some way affiliated). Nonetheless, she has asked the court to block Kardashian from using the “KW” logo, and is also asking that the court force Kardashian to destroy all of the infringing goods and pay monetary damages including lost profits and attorneys’ fees.
The suit joins a rather long list of instances in which the reality television family has been the subject of copying allegations both in and out of court. See that list here.