Kylie v Kylie (Brands & IP Newsnotes - Issue 2)
28 March 2016
It isn’t often that trade mark oppositions receive mainstream media attention. Kylie Minogue has bucked that trend by filing an opposition to reality TV star Kylie Jenner’s trade mark application for ‘Kylie’ in the US.
The pop star claims that the registration of ‘Kylie’ by Jenner would confuse her fans and dilute her very lucrative brand. Will it be handbags at dawn? The opposition describes Jenner as a “secondary reality television personality” and goes on to cite criticism that Jenner has received from disability groups and African American communities. 18 year old Jenner has applied for ‘Kylie’ for advertising services and entertainment services. But why are they fighting over a name?
In celebrity town, endorsements and sponsorship are big business, particularly when your career has spanned the number of decades that Minogue’s has. Reports in the media allege that Minogue receives $300,000 for a tweet; so it’s easy to see why Kylie is keen to protect her name. This is particularly so in the music world where a special level of fame is needed to get away with the use of just one name.
While on the surface this may appear to be a straight forward opposition, there may be difficulties in Minogue’s case, despite the fact she is clearly world famous. Minogue’s various activities and her own trade marks do not appear to cover the services she has opposed. Minogue will also have to deal with the ‘own name’ defence which Jenner is likely to raise. Minogue says her fans will be confused. Is it likely that Jenner and Minogue’s fan base will overlap and that the fans won’t be able to distinguish their products?
To be continued
It is early days in this opposition and we expect the saga will appear in the news again when Jenner files her reply.
This article was published in the Brands & IP newsnotes publication - issue 2.
The lesser spotted shape mark (Brands & IP Newsnotes - Issue 2)28 March 2016
A picture says a 1000 words or so the saying goes. So what about a shape? Several recent decisions have underlined the difficulties that can arise in trying to use shapes to protect a brand.
‘Glee’ less than happy after trade mark strife (Brands & IP Newsnotes - Issue 2)28 March 2016
We’re all familiar with the classic trade markdispute. But can you sue for trade markinfringement if the brand using your name is actually more famous than your own? In February, the Court of Appeal said you could.
Trading secrets safely in Europe (Brands & IP Newsnotes - Issue 2)28 March 2016
In December 2015, while most of us were busy wrapping presents and eating mince pies, the representatives of the European Parliament and Council agreed the text of the Trade Secrets Directive.
Stop monkeying around (Brands & IP Newsnotes - Issue 2)28 March 2016
A judge in California has put a stop to all the monkey business surrounding the idea that animals can own copyright, in California at least.
Play those bars again and end up behind… bars (Brands & IP Newsnotes - Issue 2)28 March 2016
The High Court has handed down a custodial sentence of 28 days for breach of an injunction against copyright infringement, albeit suspended for a period of 18 months. Two points rang out.
To register or not to register… that is the question (Brands & IP Newsnotes - Issue 2)28 March 2016
Just because you can register your intellectual property, it doesn’t mean that you should. Sometimes attempts to register can have unintended consequences, as YouTube stars, the Fine Brothers, recently found out.
But we settled that! (Brands & IP Newsnotes - Issue 2)28 March 2016
Parties will understandably often be relieved to sign on the dotted line of that “full and final” settlement agreement. But two decisions of the High Court earlier this year may give pause for thought. What is the practical effect of such a settlement and is it really what the parties want?