Hitting a rough patch! After being sued by esthetician Cydnie Lunsford for trademark infringement, SKKN founder Kim Kardashian is responding to the lawsuit against her — claiming her company has done nothing wrong.
In a lengthy statement provided to Us Weekly on Wednesday, June 29, lead attorney Michael Rhodes, who represents the 41-year-old reality star, denied any wrongdoing by the brand and that he looks forward to fighting the case in court.
“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.
“Mid-last year, we received a letter from Beauty Concepts, an esthetician studio in Brooklyn owned by Ms. Lundsford. We applaud Ms. Lunsford for being a small business owner and following her dreams. But that doesn’t give her the right to wrongfully claim that we’ve done something wrong. In its letter, Beauty Concepts claimed to own rights to a logo made up of SKKN+, and had just filed for trademark protection for that logo. The business was a one-person shop offering facials from a single Brooklyn location. The salon had no signage and was by appointment only. To our knowledge, Beauty Concepts sold no products under the SKKN+ name.
“Beauty Concepts asked that we drop the SKKN name. Of course, we said no. Beauty Concepts then challenged Ms. Kardashian’s trademark applications at the USPTO. Unsurprisingly, the USPTO rejected Beauty Concepts’ own SKKN+ mark saying that “skkn” just means “skin.” Undaunted, Beauty Concepts then tried to make its business seem more than it was – it leased a new storefront, changed its website, etc.
“Several times we reached out to Beauty Concepts, trying to find a sensible path to 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. In the end, Beauty Concepts didn’t really engage with us beyond demanding a lot of money.
“Since we’ve done nothing wrong, we stood our ground. 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. That’s not going to work and we look forward to presenting our case in court.”
In the initial lawsuit, filed Tuesday, June 28, Lunsford claimed that her company, Beauty Concepts, has “conducted business continuously under the SKKN+ brand in Washington, DC and/or New York, New York, since at least August 2018.” She also alleged that the domain, www.skknplus.com, and the company’s Instagram page, began in 2018 — with even the first post containing the SKKN+ logo.
Lunsford’s filing also claims that after her attempts to negotiate with Kardashian’s team in July 2021 failed, Beauty Concepts initiated legal efforts to block the Kardashians star from stealing their intellectual property. “Several months ago, they filed opposition proceedings with the USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to try to stop Kardashian from using the name ‘SKKN BY KIM,’” the documents state.
The lawsuit comes just two months after the Kardashian-Jenners won the defamation suit against them filed by Rob Kardashian’s ex, Blac Chyna. The model, 31, claimed the famous family was responsible for her and the Arthur George Designer’s how, Rob & Chyna, prematurely ending, however, the case was dismissed and Chyna walked away with no damages.
“On behalf of Kris, Kim, Khloé and Kylie, we want to express our appreciation to the jury. We are also grateful for the steady hand of Judge Gregory Alarcon in making sure that this was a fair trial,” Rhodes and fellow lawyer Michelle Doolin, told Us in a statement in May. “The jury sent a clear message to Ms. White and her lawyer — I hope they are listening. Justice has prevailed.”