Kylie v Kylie

13 February 2017

Kylie Minogue and Kylie Jenner appear to have resolved their dispute over who should be allowed to register the name KYLIE as a trade mark - at least for the time being.

Back in April 2015, Kylie Jenner applied to register her forename in respect of a range of endorsement and entertainment services in the US and EU. At the same time, she also filed an EUTM application to register KYLIE COSMETICS in preparation for the launch of her cosmetics range in 2016.

Kylie Minogue opposed the applications, but apparently only after the USPTO blocked one of her US applications on the basis of Ms Jenner’s earlier-filed mark.

It has widely been reported that Ms Minogue succeeded in her oppositions. The USPTO records indicate, however, that she withdrew her US oppositions voluntarily. Meanwhile, in the EU, Kylie Jenner has voluntarily withdrawn her EUTM applications for KYLIE and KYLIE COSMETICS. This suggests the celebrities may have reached an amicable agreement.

The clash between the two Kylies highlights the difficulties that may be encountered in protecting names as trade marks, particularly in a world where celebrity endorsement and brand extension are increasingly common.

Forenames are able to function as distinctive trade marks in their own right, and may be registered in isolation for certain ranges of goods and services. As for any other category of trade mark, proper searches should be conducted before a brand is launched in the marketplace.

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