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Are Kardashian Kollection Handbags Knock-Offs?

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on August 17, 2011 6:46 AM

If you're looking at the new Sears line of Kardashian Kollection handbags, you might be wondering where the three Kardashian sisters got their design inspiration. But, if you're designer Monica Botkier, you may end up crying "piracy!" and accusing the sisters of ripping off your design.

In August, Botkier publicly accused the sisters of ripping off the design for her "Clyde" handbag.

She did so by posting a blog post titled "K is for Knock-off" on her website. Botkier appears ready for a legal showdown - and Sears is responding.

It seems that Sears, the distributor for the sisters' new line, is not taking any chances. They've since taken down the offending bag off their website, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Now, frugal fashionistas might have to wait to buy the Kardashian bag. Or, they may simply have to turn to different outlets. Botkier's "Clyde" bag retails for around $600, while the Kardashian's more affordable line has bags priced between $36 and $94.

Legally speaking, Botkier may not have many legal remedies at her disposal against Kardashian Kollection. Handbags, like many items in fashion such as clothes, are not protected under copyright law the same way that books, music and movies are.

Botkier has not sent any cease-and-desist letters, according to a statement by the Kardashians to The Hollywood Reporter. The Kardashians also insist the handbag was independently designed and was not meant to copy Botkier's design.

Despite the Kardashian sisters' assurances, Botkier clearly feels that the bags look suspiciously similar. 

With the lack of legal protection for fashion, maybe Monica Botkier's actions to draw attention to the handbags are a relatively effective method to combat piracy. After all, calling the Kardashian Kollection handbag a "knockoff" has got to sting.

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