Kim Kardashian has been expanding her beauty empire recently and that process includes a rebrand of the name KKW Beauty to SKKN which is a play on her initials.
The problem is, there is a similar brand called SKKN that has been in business since 2017.
Cydnie Lunsford, a 28-year-old entrepreneur, and licensed Master Esthetician is the owner of Beauty Concepts LLC and SKKN Plus Brooklyn on social media.
Her company has been in business since 2018 in Washington DC and has since expanded her brand to New York.
According to Complex Lunsford argues that her brand has been using the name SKKN+ since July of 2017 to offer salon and skincare services to clients and that it would confuse customers if Kim is granted use of the name.
“I have painstakingly built my successful small business with my own sweat equity, hard work, and research,” Lunsford said in an email to Complex.
“It’s clear that I established my brand first. As a young black woman, my mission with SKKN+ is to provide quality skincare and curated full-body experiences to enhance each client’s self-care regimen. The (+) represents a hands-on transformative aesthetic experience that elevates the body, mind, and spirit.”
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Lawyers for Beauty Concepts LLC fired off a cease and desist letter to KK’s legal team, claiming since July 2017 it’s provided salon and skincare services under its SKKN+ brand name, owned by Cydnie Lunsford.
In the letter, obtained by TMZ, Beauty Concepts says it also operates a website and social media handles using the same block letters. What’s more … Beauty Concepts claims it applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office back in March to register the SKKN+ logo.
The company claims it’s invested considerable time, effort and money to develop and market its SKKN+ services over the last 3 years, and Kim’s play for the same name would cause confusion in the marketplace. Them’s magic words, because it’s the basis on which the Patent and Trademark Office would reject an application.
Kim’s attorney, Michael G. Rhodes, tells us, “We certainly appreciate and support small businesses, and our hat is off to Ms. Lunsford. But the question at hand is one of trademark law and we’ve not done anything deserving of legal action by her.”
He continues, “We are disappointed that she has chosen to run to the media knowing that we were scheduling a call for tomorrow, requested by her attorney. So while disagreeing with the letter, we’re hopeful that we can smooth things over once both sides speak.”
In the legal letter, Beauty Concepts says Kim’s trademark application for “SKKN” is a ripoff of their innovative moniker and simply adding “By Kim” does little to differentiate the brands.
What’s more … Beauty Concepts says it has used the SKKN+ name for 3 years before Kim’s company applied for its trademark.
As we’ve reported … in addition to filing for the trademark, SKKN.com and @SKKN social media handles were all locked down by Kim’s team in December 2020 … indicating this had been in the works for a while.
On August 1st at midnight we will be shutting down the https://t.co/FsvhIerHFs site so that we can come back to you under a completely new brand with new formulas that are more modern, innovative, and packaged in an elevated and sustainable new look.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) July 6, 2021
Beauty Concepts wants Kim K’s company to back off … or else.