New drinking game: take a shot every time someone sues a Kardashian. Drunk yet? Love them or hate them, the Kardashian-Jenner clan sure knows how to create successful businesses, which is made evident by their net worths. But, not all businesses are free of controversy, which they know all too well.
Over the years, they’ve racked up multiple lawsuits, mostly concerning stolen design ideas. Most recently, Kim was served a $100 million lawsuit over an allegedly copied phone accessory design. While some settlements have been reached and some are still ongoing, it’s definitely garnered a reputation for the Kardashians. That said, all of these cases don’t seem to be impacting the sales of their many businesses with the lip kits and clothing still selling out. Take a look at some of the major lawsuits filed against the Kardashian-Jenners over the years.
This lawsuit, unlike most of the others, concerned alleged fraud. An investor that used to be a part of the Kardashian Beauty Makeup line filed $180 million accusing Kourtney, Kim and Khloé of fraud and breach of contract. After the brand struggled in 2014, the investment company, Hillair Capital Management, put in millions, but the Kardashians later sought a better deal after the original was made official. A settlement was likely reached behind closed doors.
— Kylie Cosmetics (@kyliecosmetics) November 19, 2016
During the holiday season last year, Kylie faced legal action over her holiday makeup collection ad. Makeup artist Vlada Haggerty accused Kylie of copying her own design, and the similarities are striking. This apparently wasn’t the first time, with the first being in 2015.
Knowing that they were called out on it, Kylie’s brand later edited the Instagram photo to credit Vlada, but it came a little too late. A few months later, Kylie Instagrammed a photo of Vlada’s work, giving her credit and saying the issue had been resolved.
Kylie has faced more than a few lawsuits in 2017 alone. She’s recently been in some hot water for the logo of her new reality show, which an independent artist, Sara Pope, claims is similar to her own lip design. While the trailer for Life of Kylie featuring the design has been taken down, Sara is seeking damages from E! Entertainment, NBC Universal, and Kylie.
The Jenner sisters also faced backlash last month for selling vintage tees on their site of their faces mixed with images of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. The shirts were pulled from the site, but not before multiple sales. Though the sisters have made an apology, the damage was already done with celebrities speaking out, including Biggie’s mother. A photographer of Tupac sought a lawsuit for the images, but his claims were proven to be baseless.
During the same time the Jenners were sorting out their cases, there was also major drama between designer Destiney Bleu and Khloe Kardashian, and legal threats were made against both parties. It began when Destiney tweeted about Khloe allegedly copying her designs.
— destiney bleu (@destineybleu) June 2, 2017
The two have both designed bedazzled catsuits, and Khloe fired back with a claim that Destiney only wanted to stir up media attention. The design itself isn’t anything new, as it’s been worn in the entertainment industry for the past few decades, by Britney Spears, Whitney Houston, and many others. Though the case isn’t officially considered resolved, no settlement has been reached.
Kim Kardashian also hasn’t been spared this year, as she was sued this past July for $100 million by Hooshmand Harooni, who claims he wanted a patent for a 2013 invention, a lighting accessory and phone case. The company LuMee took his design and began a business relationship with Kim. Harooni is subsequently going after the latter, as he claims their collaboration competitively beat out Snaplight, the company that licensed his product. At the moment, there have been no further updates on the case.
Some of these cases raise an important debate about the rights of smaller, independent artists and the difficulties for them to make cases against larger brand names. All we can hope is that brands further support independent artists and hand out credit when it’s legally and morally necessary.