December 5, 2022
(BROOKLYN)— Beauty Concepts, a New York-based salon and skincare company, is suing business owner and influencer Kim Kardashian West, Kimsaprincess, Inc., and beauty company Coty Inc. for trademark infringement over the brand names SKKN and SKKN BY KIM.
The plaintiff Beauty Concepts has operated a skincare company called SKKN+ since 2018, according to the suit filed on June 28 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Just a week before, the plaintiff says, Kardashian/Coty Defendants ignored its trademark claim and “launched their new skin care line under the trademark SKKN BY KIM.”
“Both SKKN BY KIM and SKKN are likely to cause, have already caused, and are continuing to cause confusion with Beauty Concepts SKKN+ Marks,” the complaint says. “Defendant’s use of an emphasis on the SKKN element willfully amplifies the likelihood of confusion between the SKKN+ Marks and the Infringing SKKN Marks.”
Beauty Concepts is a Black-owned and women-owned salon, skincare, and spa services brand operated by esthetician Cydnie Lunsford, according to the complaint.
“The suggestion that a small, entrepreneurial Black- and woman-owned business is not entitled to its prior rights in a nearly identical mark that is later pursued by a celebrity’s large, majority-owned company raises serious questions about, among other things, the motives and legitimacy of the Kardashian/Coty Defendants’ actions and arguments,” the plaintiff writes.
“Ms. Kardashian personally touts that this skincare line was developed with assistance from, among others, professional estheticians, and together, they demonstrate how the skincare products can be used by an esthetician during a professional facial, like those facial services offered by Beauty Concepts’ using its SKKN+ brand.” Beauty Concepts explains that the goal was to provide services and products for Black women and other women of color, not replace beauty and hair care services.
Beauty Concepts is requesting damages “including, but not limited to compensatory damages, statutory damages, restitution, disgorgement of profits, enhanced damages, punitive damages, and prejudgment and post-judgment interest.” Beauty Concepts also wants the court to order Kardashian to stop using the brand name SKKN, to ” implement a campaign of corrective advertising” and withdraw “all USPTO trademark applications featuring SKKN or SKKN BY KIM.”
Attorneys for Kimsaprincess did not respond to emailed requests for comment on the suit.