Topline: Kim Kardashian seeks $10 million in damages from app maker iHandy for allegedly using one of her Instagram posts without authorization for marketing purposes, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in California Superior Court.
- The 14-page complaint accuses iHandy of “blatant and calculated misappropriation, unauthorized use and fraudulent commercial exploitation” of a two-year-old Kardashian Instagram photo.
- iHandy allegedly used Kardashian’s photo in Instagram ads to promote its Sweet Camera makeup photo editing app, according to the complaint, by capitalizing on Kardashian’s fame to attract new users.
- Kardashian seeks $10 million in damages for “loss of monetary compensation” and emotional damages.
- The complaint noted that Kardashian is paid for her sponsored Instagram posts—and her mother, Kris Jenner, said in April that each Kardashian post costs six figures.
- It also served up a little shade: Kardashian “does not use, like, nor endorse” the Sweet Camera app.
- iHandy did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Crucial quote: “By using [Kim Kardashian’s] photograph, image and persona in the App Advertisements without consent, iHandy, and its co-conspirators, reaped millions of dollars worth of advertising and promotional services from [Kim Kardashian] without paying for it,” reads the complaint.
Surprising fact: iHandy allegedly claimed it did not know the woman in the Instagram photo was Kardashian, “one of the most famous and recognizable women in the world,” according to the complaint.
Key background: Kardashian is notoriously aggressive about protecting her name and image. In July, she was awarded $2.7 million in a lawsuit against Missguided USA for using her “persona and trademarks” to sell knockoff designer clothing. (It was also an Instagram-based lawsuit, according to The Verge, which reported that Missguided would tag Kardashian in its posts.) By Forbes’ count, the Kardashian clan—Kim, Kylie, Kendall and Kanye—have filed over 700 trademarks between them. The Kardashians use trademarks to protect their personal brands and business ventures and try to freeze out anyone who might want to capitalize on their names.