Kim Kardashian Sued After Touting Knockoff Donald Judd Set as Authentic

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It’s like trying to get into the club with a fake ID … (screenshot Rhea Nayyar/Hyperallergic via @seanieviola on X)

Kim Kardashian allegedly turned down the Judd Foundation’s offer of authentic Donald Judd furniture in exchange for deleting a video in which she boasted a knock-off set that she passed off as original, legal documents reveal.

The Judd Foundation filed a lawsuit against Kardashian and the Los Angeles interior design firm Clements Design after the celebrity stated that she owned “Donald Judd tables” that were found to be inauthentic. Per the suit, Clements Design manufactured the table and chairs “in the style of Donald Judd,” according to an invoice that included photos of Judd’s original designs. The Foundation alleges that the company’s actions amount to “trademark and copyright infringement” and accuses Kardashian of false advertising.

In a statement to the New York Times, the interior design firm said it believed the issue had been resolved, as there were “obvious key differences” between what Clements Design had produced for Kardashian and Judd’s original designs. Neither the firm nor its legal counsel responded to Hyperallergic‘s request for comment.

Kim Kardashian said she had “Donald Judd tables” in a video walkthrough of her SKKN By Kim office (screenshot Rhea Nayyar/Hyperallergic via YouTube)

Megan Bannigan, a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton and counsel to the Judd Foundation, said “it’s a very interesting spin that Clements is putting on this, but it is just not reality.”

“Clements did not offer to reasonably resolve this matter,” Bannigan told Hyperallergic. “And the fact is that these tables are not only copies, but when Clements promoted them to Ms. Kardashian, it used Donald Judd’s copyrighted photo to do so.”

It all started with a promotional video Kardashian posted in 2022 that took viewers on a virtual tour of her SKKN By Kim company office. Early into the walkthrough, Kardashian mentions that “these Donald Judd tables are really amazing and totally blend in with the seats,” as the camera pans over the 12-seater with striking similarities to Judd’s “La Mansana Table” (1982) and “Chair 84” (1991).

According to the suit, the Judd Foundation learned of Kardashian’s video a couple of days after its upload and immediately notified her representatives, who admitted that the furniture was not by the artist.

Neither party saw eye-to-eye on a resolution, as the Judd Foundation asked for the video to be removed entirely with a public statement of retraction, but Kardashian and her representatives wanted to leave it up and note the correction in its caption. They went back and forth as Kardashian proposed making a social media post for the Foundation, which in turn offered authentic Judd tables and chairs at a discount for the video’s removal, a retraction statement, and the recycling of the knock-off furniture.

Per the suit, when the Judd Foundation contacted Clements Design after learning that the company designed and manufactured the furniture for Kardashian, the company reportedly responded through legal counsel “denying the Judd Foundation’s rights in the furniture designs and refusing to cease the manufacture and sale of furniture trading off Judd Foundation’s trade dress and trademarks.”

The Foundation also alleges that the company never advertised the furniture as authentic Donald Judd creations to Kardashian, and could not assume responsibility for what she had said in the video.

However, the Foundation obtained the company’s 2020 invoice to Kardashian that included copyrighted photos of Judd’s “La Mansana Table” and “Chair 84” and noted that the designs for her furniture were “in the style of Donald Judd.” The Foundation claims both economic and reputation damages in its allegations that Clements Design fraudulently marketed the furniture as authentic Judd creations to both Kardashian and the general public, especially after multiple erroneous press mentions from the likes of Architectural Digest, Vogue, and US Weekly, among other publications.

“We are happy that, as a result of the filing of the litigation, the video has now been taken down,” Bannigan continued to Hyperallergic. “We wish that could have happened sooner. This lawsuit will reaffirm not only Judd Foundation’s intellectual property rights, but the significance of Donald Judd’s timeless designs.”

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