They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. Emojis of Kim Kardashian West could be worth $300 million (about R4.2 billion), according to a new lawsuit.
A social-media developer has sued Kardashian West and her company, Kimsaprincess Inc., over a series of emojis and other images of the reality show celebrity.
In a suit filed Tuesday in federal court in Oklahoma City, the developer alleges that he and two others teamed up with Kardashian West to create "Kimoji" designs and merchandising. Now they're claiming that Kardashian West ran away with the trademark and never shared the profits.
"We want to be compensated for what we would have made with 'Kimoji,' " David Liebensohn, the plaintiff, told The Post. "She sold out of this, sold out of that. Every time you'd see that, it was something related to 'Kimoji.' "
Kardashian West did not respond to a request for comment.
In 2014, Liebensohn and two others, Narayan Shankar and Daniel Rice, founded their company App Social, which created social media applications. One of their apps, CensorGram, helped social media users protect their accounts from bullying, spammers and trolls on Instagram. Users could filter and delete comments or users they didn't want. The app's name was later changed to CensorOut.
Kardashian West liked CensorGram and reached out to App Social to talk about a potential investment. Together they talked on the phone and met in California in July 2014.
Liebensohn, Shankar and Rice brought up another one of their apps, which designed "sexy" emojis. They pitched "Kimojis" - a series of animated emojis and GIFs of the Kardashian family. The emojis now include dozens of icons of Kardashian's famous bottom, a stiletto, a Bentley, manicured nails and more.
Kardashian West latched onto the idea and said she would file the "Kimoji" trademark herself to spare App Social the cost, according to the lawsuit. The "Kimoji" trademark includes phone cases, bathing suits, flip flops, T-shirts and other merchandise. The app launched in 2015.
The group decided they would split the profits of "Kimoji," with 60% going to Liebensohn and his colleagues, and 40% to Kardashian West. (Last year, Forbes estimated Kardashian West's net worth at $350 million.)
The lawsuit says that after she filed the "Kimoji" trademark, Kardashian West said in August 2014 that she was upset that Shankar had circulated screen shots including personal information about her use of CensorOut. Kardashian West used the screenshot as a reason to cancel the partnership, according to the lawsuit.
Liebensohn said that this year, he learned that Kardashian West knew about Shankar's screenshot before she agreed to team up on "Kimoji." He said he believes that Kardashian West held onto the screenshot until after filing the trademark so she could have "Kimoji" for herself.
"We decided the only way to get this out in the open is in federal court," Liebensohn said.
The lawsuit also accuses Kardashian West of fraud, saying she never intended to share the profits from "Kimoji." Liebensohn is requesting a jury trial.
"The purpose of the lawsuit is to obtain Oklahoma justice," said Liebensohn's attorney, Robert J. Hantman, "as Liebensohn received zero money and Kardashian West made a fortune."Washington Post