Back in 2013, Kim Kardashian ushered in a viral sensation when she posted a snapshot of her face covered in blood. In what would become known as the Vampire Facial, Kim used her own blood in a treatment that includes microdermabrasion and a mask made of platelet-rich plasma.
E! News reports that Kardashian is now taking legal action against the doctor who gave it to her, Charles Runels, and his practice, Cellular Medicine Association, for using photos of her to promote the procedure, which she says she'd "never" do again because it was so "rough and painful"
Court documents filed accuse Runels of "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."
Kardashian and her sister, Khloé, got the procedure done in 2013 and documented the experience in an episode of Kourtney and Kim Take Miami. Kim's claim states that the practice's website continues to use photos of her to promote the Vampire Facial. Kim's case maintains that she "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," the documents 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."
Runels posted a blog about the legal proceedings, writing, "He is now being sued by Ms. Kardashian West for a part of the profits made by the procedure, even though she was never asked to endorse it." He continued, telling E!, "The name Vampire Facial, that is my intellectual property. I feel like this is someone shaking down some little doctor for something that is public knowledge."
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