Dezeen Magazine

Donald Judd tables

Donald Judd foundation sues Kim Kardashian for "false endorsement" of "knockoff" tables

The non-profit foundation representing Donald Judd is suing celebrity Kim Kardashian for stating that a pair of tables in the office of her SKKN brand were "Donald Judd tables".

The lawsuit, which was reported by the New York Times, claimed that Kardashian unlawfully described "knockoff" versions of the La Mansana Table and Chair 84 made by interiors studio Clements Design as genuine Judd pieces.

"This is an action for trademark infringement, copyright infringement, unfair competition, false advertising, and false endorsement arising out of Clements Design's advertising and sale of knockoff Donald Judd furniture and celebrity Kim Kardashian's display and promotion of that fake furniture as being authentic Donald Judd furniture even when she knew that it was not genuine," reads the foundation's lawsuit.

Kardashian shows "Donald Judd tables" in video tour

The complaint arises from a video tour, which has now been removed from YouTube, of the SKKN brand's offices. In the video, which was widely reported and received several million views, Kardashian describes the furniture in the kitchen as "Donald Judd tables".

"If you are furniture people, because I've really got into furniture lately, these Donald Judd tables are totally amazing and really blend in with the seats," she said in the video.

The foundation states that the furniture in the kitchen was not official pieces created by either Judd or the Donald Judd Furniture brand.

The lawsuit claims that Kardashian's SKKN brand hired Clements Design to make the tables and chairs in Judd's style for its offices.

"In blatant disregard of Judd Foundation's trademark and copyright rights, Clements Design manufactured and sold knockoff versions of the Donald Judd La Mansana Table and the Donald Judd Chair 84 to Ms. Kardashian," reads the lawsuit.

"They are different tables with different designs"

However, Clements Design disputes this claim.

In a statement given to the New York Times, the studio said there were "obvious key differences" between the furniture produced for SKKN's office and the Judd pieces.

A lawyer for the studio cited differences in the wood types and proportions of the two designs.

"It is simply not true that Clements Design commissioned imitation Donald Judd tables," lawyer John Ulin is quoted in the New York Times. "They are different tables with different designs."

American artist and designer Judd, who died in 1994 was a key figure in the minimalist movement. The La Mansana Table and Chair 84 are two of his best-known pieces. The Judd Foundation continues to make and sell his furniture through the Donald Judd Furniture website.

The foundation believes that Kardashian and Clements Design's actions could cause confusion in the market between original pieces and copies.

"Clements Design's and Ms. Kardashian's actions harm Judd Foundation's reputation by undermining its ability to control the quality of pieces sold under its trademarks, as well as its ability to control Mr. Judd's name and identity," said the lawsuit.

"This conduct, if not enjoined and corrected, will cause further confusion in the market and undermine the goodwill and integrity of Judd Foundation's Donald Judd brand, including Mr. Judd's name and identity."

The main image shows a Donald Judd designed table in his home and studio. The photo is by Josh White courtesy of the Judd Foundation and Ad Reinhardt.