By: Caitlyn Tuzzolino, Marketing Director, IP.com
With so many new inventions created every day, it is likely that patent owners will find infringing products or services in the marketplace. Patent infringement does not discriminate – not even against A-list celebrities such as Kim Kardashian.
Kardashian’s company, Kimsaprincess Inc., was recently hit with a $100 million lawsuit over her endorsement of a phone case that lights up and makes your selfies look flawless. The selfie queen endorses the LuMee phone case, but SnapLight claims they were the ones to first create the case and are now blaming Kardashian of robbing them of profits, due to her heavy endorsements to more than 165 million followers on social media.
SnapLight filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Kimsaprincess Inc. on Monday, July 31, stating that they filed for a patent on their product in 2013.
However, on Tuesday, August 1, LuMee filed paperwork stating they issued a patent on their product in 2016 and actually sued SnapLight first, in November 2016, for infringing on them. Even though SnapLight’s patent was issued in 2013 and LuMee’s in 2016, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) still approved LuMee, which meant there are likely meaningful differences between the two products.
The LuMee and the SnapLight each retail for around $70, but SnapLight claims they can hardly compete with LuMee due to Kardashian’s endorsements.
SnapLight is asking for $100 million in patent infringement damages to make up for their lost profits. They are also asking the court to force Kardashian to to stop promoting LuMee.
A rep for Kardashian denied that the lawsuit is valid, stating, “The patent lawsuit filed by SnapLight has no merit and is just another attempted shakedown. Kim has done absolutely nothing wrong.”
What do you think will happen next? There was mention of LuMee planning to file their own patent infringement lawsuit against SnapLight, but we will have to stay tuned to find out.