Kim Kardashian was awarded a whopping $2.7 million early this month after British fast fashion retailer Missguided posted a number of images of her to its website and social media pages without her authorization to promote its copycat wares. Counsel for the 38-year old star filed suit against Missguided’s separate British and American entities in February and after both “failed to appear, plead, or otherwise defend” in connection with the case, a California federal court ordered that Missguided USA pay Kardashian nearly $3 million in damages, and foot the bill for her attorneys’ fees.
In a default judgment, or a decision that is entered without any judicial assessment or trial on the merits of the case, and instead, as a result of some failure to take action by the other party, Judge Virginia A. Phillips of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California permanently enjoined Misguided USA from “using Kardashian’s trademarks” – i.e., her name – “in connection with the sale, marketing or distribution of its products,” and ordered the company to pay up $2,759,600. That’s a fraction of the more than $10 million Kardashian was seeking; after all, “a single social media post by Kardashian can fetch fees of several hundred thousand dollars, and her longer-term endorsement arrangements regularly garner fees in the millions of dollars,” her complaint asserts.
On the heels of the court’s ruling, counsel for Kardashian is unsatisfied and has asked the court to reconsider its refusal to “enter the default of Missguided Limited,” the retailer’s UK arm, “on the basis that it was not properly served [with the lawsuit] under English law.”
According to the court’s decision, Kardashian’s counsel filed to effectively serve Misguided UK with the lawsuit “because the person to whom the summons, complaint, and accompanying documents were delivered, Georgia Markantonakis, was not in a ‘senior position at Missguided UK as required to ‘personally serve’ that entity in accordance with English law.”
Kardashian’s counsel asserts in its new filing that actually, its service of the complaint to Missguided UK was, in fact, valid, as instead of relying in “personal service,” they opted for “an alternative, equally valid method of service in which a complaint is delivered to the company at its “registered office” in which case, “there is no requirement that the recipient be in a ‘senior position.’”
With such effective service in mind, counsel for the star has asked the court to reconsider its previous order and not only formally determine that despite being served with a copy of the lawsuit Missguided UK failed to respond within the allotted amount of time, but to enter a default judgment against it to mirror the one for Missguided U.S.
More than merely a formality, by entering a default judgment against Missguided UK, the entity will be legally barred from “using Kardashian’s trademarks in connection with the sale, marketing or distribution of its products,” just as its American counterpart is.
The court expected to decide on Kardashian’s motion in August.
* The case is Kimsaprincess, Inc.; and Kim Kardashian West v. Missguided USA (Finance) Inc., and Missguided Limited, 2:19-cv-01258 (C.D.Cal).