N.Y. esthetician has sued Kim Kardashian over SKKN brand name

Another week, another Kardashian lawsuit.

This time around, it’s Kim Kardashian and her SKKN BY KIM skincare. Brooklyn-based esthetician Cydnie Lunsford has sued Kim Kardashian for trademark infringement.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, Lunsford stated that her company, Beauty Concepts, has used “the SKKN+ brand in Washington, D.C., and/or New York, New York, since at least August 2018,” according to documents obtained by The Times.

The lawsuit alleges that if both companies were allowed to use the “SKKN” name, Kardashian’s brand would likely “quickly overshadow” Lunsford’s business and she would likely experience “significant and irreparable brand damage as a result of this confusion.”

On Wednesday, Kardashian’s lawyer, Michael Rhodes, spoke with E! News on behalf of the reality star.

“We think the case is less about the law of trademarks and more about trying to leverage a settlement by threatening to harm Ms. Kardashian’s name and reputation,” Rhodes said. “That’s not going to work and we look forward to presenting our case in court.”

Rhodes noted that he and his team attempted several times to reach an agreement, but Lunsford’s team refused to accept a state of coexistence.

“We pointed out that running a small esthetician business in Brooklyn does not give it the right to shut down a global skincare line,” Rhodes noted. “Since we’ve done nothing wrong, we stood our ground.”

According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a patent application for Lunsford’s SKKN+ was filed March 28, 2021, and Kardashian filed an application for “SKKN BY KIM” on March 30, 2021.

This isn’t the first action that Lunsford has taken against Kardashian on the matter. In July 2021, Lunsford’s team requested that Kardashian’s company “abandon their plans to use a mark incorporating the most significant elements of Beauty Concepts’ mark SKKN+, namely the letters ‘SKKN.’”

Lunsford says her company had been using the name for nearly four years, however, Kardashian’s team has denied that.

“To our knowledge, Beauty Concepts sold no products under the SKKN+ name,” Rhodes said of the situation. “Beauty Concepts asked that we drop the SKKN name. Of course, we said no.”

According to the lawsuit, Lunsford is also suing for reverse confusion because it says Kardashian’s actions thusly “have led and are likely to continue to lead the public to conclude, incorrectly, that [Lunsford’s] goods originate from [Kardashian].” She is also requesting for a trial by jury and asking for an undisclosed amount in damages.

“We applaud Ms. Lunsford for being a small business owner and following her dreams,” Rhodes remarked. “But that doesn’t give her the right to wrongfully claim that we’ve done something wrong.”

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