Kim Kardashian just filed a lawsuit against an Alabama doctor over the use of her name as well as likeness in commercial advertising without her permission.
During a 2013 episode of Kourtney & Kim Take Miami, Kim took what is called a “vampire facial.”
And five years later, Kim posted on her website how she would never do it again as it was “really rough and painful” for her.
Kim is currently suing Charles Runels and Cellular Medicine Association for using her name and photos without her permission in order to promote their procedures.
According to the complaint, which was filed by Kim’s attorneys, it is for copyright infringement, infringement of registered mark, false association, violation of the right of publicity and California common law trademark infringement.
“Defendant Charles Runels is a doctor in Alabama. In characteristically self-promoting fashion, he describes himself alternatively as the ‘Orgasm Doctor’ and the ‘Calvin Klein of medicine,'” the court documents state. “To that end, while he appears to maintain a small practice in Alabama, most of his time is spent touting the various cosmetic procedures he has purported to trademark—including, as relevant here, the Vampire Facial.”
And while the docs do note that both Kim and Kourtney Kardashian did “get” a vampire facial, it was years ago and they had “certainly never licensed their name in connection with the procedure.”
“Upon further investigation, Ms. Kardashian was horrified to discover that her name and likeness were plastered all over Runels’ website (www.vampirefacial.com),” the docs continue. “Just below a post disclaiming any association with the Vampire Facial provider from which patients had contracted HIV is a photo captioned, ‘Bar [Refaeli] & Kim Receive the Vampire Facial® Procedure.'”
Reportedly, when Kim reached out to Runels a cease and desist, he instead insisted that he pay her.
The doctor in response posted a blog on his website regarding the lawsuit, stating: “The name Vampire Facial, that is my intellectual property.” Dr. Runels stated. He also claims that he not only owns the name but Kim used it on the TV show without his permission.
“I feel like this is someone shaking down some little doctor for something that is public knowledge.”