Kylie Minogue opposes Kylie Jenner's attempt to trademark the name ‘Kylie’
Reports have emerged of an on going trademark battle between singer, Kylie Minogue and reality TV star, Kylie Jenner. Last year, Jenner had sought permission from the US Patent and Trademark office for trademark protection of the name ‘KYLIE’ along with ‘Kylie Jenner’ for advertising and entertainment purposes of her brand. Minogue’s team have recently countered with a notice of opposition to the application set up by Jenner. Who would have thought that we would reach the day when a young 18-year-old Jenner would want to trademark the name ‘Kylie’ against others without acknowledging that Minogue has been in the industry for years and has amassed a number of accolades.
There seems to be a semi generational battle between the two public figures. Minogue who already owns the rights to ‘Kylie Minogue’, ‘Kylie Minogue darling’ and ‘Lucky – the Kylie Minogue musical’, is in staunch opposition to this application for the name, ‘Kylie’. In her opposition, Minogue refers to Jenner as a “secondary reality television personality who appeared on the television series ‘Keeping Up with The Kardashians’ as a supporting character to half sisters, Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian’. Minogue’s team further allude to the fact that Minogue’s brand will suffer due to Jenner’s “controversial posts (on social media) which have drawn criticism from the Disability Rights and African-American communities”.
It is clear that Minogue sees Jenner’s application as an infringement on her brand. According to the World Intellectual Property Review, Minogue’s team has claimed that “if the US Patent and Trademark Office approved Jenner’s application it would cause confusion amongst consumers between the two Kylies and dilute her brand”. There is the suggestion that Jenner is less known than Minogue and the likelihood of this confusion among fans is quite high. The singer has already alluded to the on-going trademark battle on her twitter page using the hashtag #lightyears to suggest that that she was ahead of Jenner in all respects.
Hello….. My name is KYLIE #lightyears
— kylie minogue (@kylieminogue) February 28, 2016
This has now turned into a battle of public consciousness in the media – who does the public identify with closely as THE Kylie? One can understand the frustration from Minogue and her representatives. The singer has been active in the industry since the 70’s, forging a singing career and going on to win 1 Grammy, 3 BRITs and 3 Ivor Novello awards amongst others achieving worldwide record sales of 80 million records. The application refers to Minogue being a breast cancer survivor who through activism for public awareness spurred the term ‘The Kylie Effect’ for early detection of cancer in young women. Also, the singer’s website is www.kylie.com and has been like that for a number of years.
However, Jenner as one of the cast of one of the highest rated shows on E! has established a large number of devotees on social media with 53 million followers on Instagram and 14.6 million followers on Twitter hanging on to her every word and buying her products. Her lip kits which were released at the beginning of February sold out in 10 minutes and her phone application was downloaded 1.75 million times during the first week of availability converting to 6 figure sum sales. With that type of star power in the social media age, it is easy to see why the name would stand be worth millions for Jenner.
It is worth noting that Minogue already owns the U.S trademark registration for ‘KYLIE’ which is for use on her sound recordings including CDs and goods such as jewellery. As Jenner’s application is for use in advertising services of her brand and goods which is quite broad, this is a contentious issue for Minogue. No decisions have been made as of yet, so it will be worth noting how the US Patent and Trademark office will officiate on that issue.