LOS ANGELES, United States — It may take a court injunction just to keep up with the Kardashians.
Kim Kardashian West’s partner for her beauty line won a court order temporarily blocking the reality TV star from sharing trade secrets in their agreement as she pursues a stake sale to rival Coty Inc.
Seed Beauty, Kardashian West’s partner, said in a court filing that Coty would gain “an unfair competitive advantage” from access to Oxnard, California-based Seed’s “most sensitive and highly confidential information.” Seed typically partners with celebrities to develop beauty brands and manufactures the products.
The injunction may delay negotiations with Coty, which said earlier this month it’s in talks with Kardashian West for a possible collaboration “with respect to certain beauty products.” The possible partnership comes just months after Coty closed a $600 million deal with her sister, Kylie Jenner.
In the court filing, Seed, which also has a partnership with Jenner, said her company wouldn’t say if terms of their agreement were shared with Coty.
Seed said the evidence it uncovered “strongly suggests” Coty has been using the deal due diligence process to obtain confidential, proprietary and trade secret information on its direct-to-consumer business model.
“We are pleased that the court recognised the threat posed to Seed, and we will take further action as needed to protect our rights and business agreements,” Seed said in a statement through its lawyer.
Representatives for Kardashian West, Coty and Jenner didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment sent late on Saturday.
The family’s influence can’t be underestimated. On Friday, Gap Inc. announced a tie up with Kardashian West’s husband, rapper Kanye West, for a new line of apparel for men, women and kids called Yeezy Gap. The struggling apparel company’s shares soared the most in at least 40 years after the announcement with West, whose sneaker line with Adidas AG routinely sells out.
The case is Seed Beauty LLC v. KKW Beauty LLC, 20VECV00684, California Superior Court, Los Angeles County.
By Yueqi Yang