Kim Kardashian is suing Missguided for using her to sell its copycat garments. Counsel for Kardashian filed a complaint on her behalf in a California federal court on Wednesday, accusing the Manchester-based fast fashion company of engaging in “willful” trademark infringement and unfair competition, and of running afoul of right of publicity law by using Kardashian’s name and images of her to promote its wares without her authorization.
According to Kardashian’s newly-filed suit, “While most companies understand and respect [her] right to control and approve any use of her name and likeness in connection with the promotion of products, other companies have sought out ways to leverage her celebrity status and social media following without seeking her consent,” thereby, “turning her into an unwitting and unwilling spokesperson of their products.” The latter is precisely what has transpired with Missguided, the lawsuit asserts.
“In the instant case, Misguided [has] made this sort of unlawful misappropriation of Kardashian’s persona—and that of many other celebrities as well—a cornerstone of their marketing and sales strategy,” the reality star declares.
Unlike other fast fashion companies that merely replicate Kardashian’s outfits and sell them for less, Kardashian asserts that Missguided has taken things a step further by “systematically using [her] name and images of [her] … to advertise and spark interest in its website and clothing.” Such unauthorized uses have come in the form of multiple Instagram posts featuring photos of Kardashian and that have included her name as a hashtag, and an entire “Shop Kim K” section on the Missguided website.
By way of such “unauthorized uses of Kardashian’s trademarked name and likeness to promote its website and products,” Missguided is “blatantly and willfully” engaging in trademark infringement (as Kardashian’s name is protected by trademark law). But more than that, Kardashian asserts that such unauthorized use of her likeness gives rise, as TFL has noted in the past, to right of publicity violations.