Thursday, July 21, 2011

Keeping Up With Kardashian Litigation: Kim Sues Over Ad Look-alike

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 22:  Television per...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeIn Kim Kardashian v. The Gap, Inc., Old Navy, LLC et al (Case No. 2:2011cv05960) filed this week in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, reality tv star and model Kim Kardashian alleges the defendants violated her right of publicity with its Super C-U-T-E ad blitz launched last February featuring Canadian singer/actress Melissa Molinaro, who resembles Kardashian.

Kardashian is seeking compensatory and punitive damages in the $15 million to $20 million range, according to accounts by TMZ.com, The Idaho Statesman and elsewhere, over the multimedia Super C-U-T-E campaign that allegedly has been viewed more than two million times on Old Navy's YouTube channel. The 31-year-old Kardashian, described in her complaint as an "internationally known celebrity, model, television personality, actress, entrepreneur and pop culture icon," claims the defendants' use of purported look-alike Molinaro may confuse consumers regarding Kardashian's actual endorsements, which include a shoe line and clothing store. She claims the ads infringe on her identity and persona.

The complaint alleges the plaintiff "has invested substantial time, energy, finances and entrepreneurial effort in developing her considerable professional and commercial achievements and success, as well as in developing her popularity, fame, and prominence in the public eye." A lofty description for the E! series Keeping Up With the Kardashians co-star whose initial claim to fame included friendship with Paris Hilton and her own sex tape.

Molinaro, 29, is not a defendant in the suit. Ironically, TMZ.com reports that Molinaro has been romantically linked to New Orleans Saints star Reggie Bush, the plaintiff's former flame, so look-alike may only be the half of it.
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