Which Kylie Should Be So Lucky, Lucky, Lucky?

Kylie name trademark

Australia’s Kylie Minogue has launched a legal battle against America’s Kylie (Jenner) after the latter tried to trademark their shared first name. As they prepare to go head to head, we take a look at the importance of trade marks and how to handle them correctly. As Miss Minogue would say, you’ve “Got To Be Certain”…

Kylie Minogue rose to fame starring in the Australian soap, Neighbours, back in 1986. Since then, the Pop Princess has had a successful career as a recording artist, not to mention a string of commercial ventures including her perfume line and books, to name a few. She is also a humanitarian and breast cancer advocate.

In light of Minogue’s successes, she has trade marked the names “Kylie”, “Kylie Minogue”, “Lucky – the Kylie Minogue musical” and “Kylie Minogue Darling”, and registered “kylie.com” in 1996.

The other Kylie – Jenner – is an American reality TV personality, socialite and model, who was thrown into the spotlight at a young age on the TV series ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ alongside her sister and half-sisters. She and her sister Kendall have recently launched their own clothes line and Kylie has launched her own beauty range. Follow this success, Jenner is looking to protect her name. However, this is not without opposition from Minogue.

A legal battle begins

Recently, Minogue has filed in opposition of Jenner’s trade mark application to protect “Kylie”. Minogue, who has owned “kylie.com” since before Jenner was born, and therefore held her trade marks before Jenner’s application, with the exception of “Kylie Minogue Darling”.

It has been suggested Minogue has a strong case and her legal team expect to be able to successfully oppose Jenner’s application. Minogue has opposed the application on two fronts. Firstly, that it will lead to confusion between the two names for consumers. Secondly, that it will dilute Minogue’s brand. Minogue is concerned about being associated with Jenner, who has previously been criticised in relation to her controversial behaviour, especially from disability rights groups.

It is likely Minogue could show that processing Jenner’s application would cause confusion for consumers as the two Kylie’s customer base seems to significantly overlap. Minogue would also be more than likely to successfully argue the diluting of her brand if Jenner’s application is allowed, as she does not want to be associated with the criticism Jenner has received.

Minogue has reportedly not opposed Jenner’s application to trademark “Kylie Jenner”, so all is not lost for the young American.

Never too late to protect your IP

The importance of trade marks, their applications and correctly handling oppositions is paramount. At Franklins, our Intellectual Property Team can give you advice and support throughout any stage of the process. Whether that is assisting you with an application, advising on a potential breach or giving you guidance when an opposition to an application has been received.

Feel free to get in touch and contact me by email or call our team on 01908 660 966.

Image courtesy of 123rf.com

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About Christopher Buck

Chris is a Commercial Services Solicitor at Franklins, specialising in contracts; dispute resolution; insolvency; intellectual property and business structures. You can connect with him on LinkedIn
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