Keeping Up with Trade Mark Law

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Keeping Up with Trade Mark Law

20 Apr 2016

Kylie Jenner, one of the five sisters of  ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ fame, has recently filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark office (USPTO) to trade mark the name “Kylie.” We were unsurprised at this news, given the teen has been branching out from the reality TV series by putting her name to various clothing collections and cosmetic products.

However, the application has been opposed by legal representatives acting for Kylie Minogue, who state that allowing Jenner to use the trade mark “Kylie” would create confusion for Minogue’s supporters and would also dilute the Kylie Minogue brand.

So what are some of the legal issues at play here? Having a registered trade mark makes it easier to take legal action against someone. The trade mark owner will have the right to sue someone for infringement if they use the same or similar mark, which is likely to cause confusion in the target market. Having a registered trade mark is thus a valuable business asset, providing the owner with the power to authorise or license others to use it.

Once a trade mark application is submitted the request is available to the public, during which time anyone can oppose it. The specific grounds for contending a trade mark vary by jurisdiction and opposition is not uncommon. Take, for example, Jay Z and Beyoncé’s attempt to register a trade mark for their daughter Blue Ivy’s name.  This was successfully opposed by an event planning firm in Boston called “Blue Ivy Events.”
Whether Kylie Jenner’s application will be allowed is yet to be seen, with Kylie Minogue already owning a number of trade mark names, including “Kylie Minogue” and “Kylie Minogue Darling.”  The USPTO will now have to decide who, if anyone, will have the right to use “Kylie”. Watch this space…

If you have any intellectual property queries, please contact the Kuits’ Intellectual Property Team or call 0161 838 7816.

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