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Kim Kardashian's Legal Team Responds To 'Shakedown' Lawsuit Over Her New Skincare Line

screenshot kuwtk
(Image credit: E!)

Much like her sister Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian has generated a billion-dollar empire through her various namesake companies, to include KKW Beauty, KKW Fragrance and, of course, the SKIMS shapewear line. SKIMS was even featured as the official underwear at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and is slated soon for some new changes that will prove beneficial for Khloé Kardashian (or at least a very specific part of her). In addition, the Hulu reality star has decided to take her business to the next level with a newly rebranded skincare line: SKNN BY KIM. The possible downside is that the branding has already been hit with a lawsuit, but her legal team responded by deeming it a “shakedown.”

Why Kim Kardashian's New Skincare Line Is Being Sued

Per court documents obtained by TMZ, the Brooklyn-based company Beauty Concepts is the petitioner in the lawsuit. They claim that they had previously trademarked “SKNN+” and had reached out to Kim Kardashian & Co. in an effort to stop the new skincare line from using a brand name too similar to theirs. As they tell it, Kardashian’s team ignored their protestations. Now, the company is suing for trademark infringement.

The 44-year-old mother of four first announced that KKW Beauty was undergoing a rebrand back in July of 2021. Most anticipated that the rumors that she was working to drop the name “West” from the new line, in the wake of her divorce from Kanye West, were true. She obviously did drop “West,” but evidently, she herself didn’t foresee push back from those also using the name “SKNN.” Michael Rhodes, Kim Kardashian’s attorney, said in a statement to TMZ about the debacle:

This lawsuit is not what it seems. SKKN BY KIM is a new brand that follows in the footsteps of Ms. Kardashian's successful KKW line of products. Building on independent research and development, her company filed a trademark application for SKKN BY KIM to protect the new branded products. This prompted the current shakedown effort.

He continued in saying that Beauty Concepts had erroneously claimed that Kim Kardashian and her team had “done something wrong.” They submit that the much smaller company had only just filed the trademark before asking SKNN BY KIM to remove its similar phrasing. They allege that the request to change the name was denied, which then prompted the Beauty Concepts team to dispute the celeb’s applications for trademark at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The USPTO apparently rejected the claim too, due to the word in question being an ambiguous reference to “skin” in general.

Kim Kardashian’s legal team also stipulated that after the failed efforts, the competing company “tried to make its business seem more than it is.” Supposedly before all the drama, Beauty Concepts had “no signage” and “sold no products” related to their “SKNN+” logo. But when Kardashian’s new skincare line officially launched, it reportedly leased a brand new storefront and made other marketing efforts, including changing their website. The rep was firm that being a small business in and of itself didn’t “give it the right to shut down a global skincare line.” He insinuated that the true motivation for the legal campaign was to get a lofty payout from a famous face like Kim Kardashian’s.

This isn’t the former Keeping Up with the Kardashian alum’s first rodeo with the law, though. Her original skincare company was actually sued in civil court previously over manufacturer trade secrets, per Forbes. It isn’t public knowledge if the case got settled monetarily or otherwise, but Kardashian has indeed shared that the new line has an altogether new formula. It wasn’t long after that ordeal, though, that Kim K faced more legal problems with her own neighbor concerning underground vaults and property lines.

As seen on the first season of The Kardashians (streaming now for Hulu subscribers), Kim Kardashian made major headway in her efforts to become a lawyer when she passed the “baby bar.” She might just need to stretch those newfound skills imminently and represent herself if SKNN BY KIM can be barely get its foot out the door before lawsuits come a-knocking.

Lauren Vanderveen
Lauren Vanderveen

Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.