We just can’t keep up with the Kardashians

When one is a reality star, any kind of publicity is good publicity. This seems to hold true for members of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, who for one reason or the other are always in news. With different business opportunities and the bursting social media scene, not only have celebrities and stars garnered praise and criticism, they have also come to amassing intellectual property (IP).

The Kardashian-Jenner family has a ubiquitous presence, plastered across millions of television sets, be it for outrageous makeovers or intellectually sound decision making. They have achieved a cult status not only in United States but world over.

Kendall and Kylie, the two youngest members of the family, have over the years developed a brand separate from that of their siblings. The immense fan following enjoyed by both on social media websites is a testament to their popularity. Following in the footsteps of their elder siblings, they too have developed business acumen, collaborating with companies for their own fashion lines, among other projects.However, one such collaboration has landed the Jenner sisters in an IP soup.

Recently, Island Company (Plaintiff), a resort clothing brand which was founded in 2002, has filed a legal complaint with the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. (PacSun), Kendall and Kylie Jenner. Plaintiff alleges that the Defendants have infringed their trademark “Quit your job; buy a ticket; get a tan; fall in love; never return,” by featuring the variant “Run away; fall in love; never return” on a top from their 2015 collaboration. Plaintiff has been using its mark since 2005, the same being registered in 2010.

As per the Plaintiff, the above usage by the Defendants will “likely cause confusion, mistake and deception among consumers, the public and the trade as to whether Defendants’ products or services are affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by Plaintiff”.[i] Hence, the company is demanding the immediate cessation of this usage, along with destruction of clothes that feature the impugned mark. Plaintiff has also demanded the Defendants to account for profits as well as to pay damages. In the complaint, the plaintiff states that “Defendants have made and will continue to make substantial profits and/or gains to which they are not entitled”[ii] and hence should be stopped.

The present suit is still at initial stage and it is yet to be seen as to whether a compromise will be reached.

[i] Celia Ampel, Kendall, Kylie Jenner and PacSun Sued over Trademark, Available at: http://www.dailybusinessreview.com/id=1202739921910/Kendall-Kylie-Jenner-and-PacSun-Sued-over-Trademark?slreturn=20150930005511

[ii] Maria Bobila, Kendall and Kylie Jenner and PacSun are being sued for Trademark InfringementAvailable at: http://fashionista.com/2015/10/kendall-kylie-jenner-pacsun