What’s in a name? In the case of two publicly-known personalities and merchandisers, it could mean millions of dollars.
Kylie Minogue, singer and actress, has filed a notice of opposition with the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board against Kylie Jenner’s application for registration of the mark KYLIE for a wide variety of goods and services in the advertising and entertainment fields. In doing so, Ms. Minogue has claimed that the daughter of Caitlyn and Kris Jenner is causing dilution of her own KYLIE MINOGUE and KYLIE marks, claiming priority use of the name that Ms. Minogue has used for years in connection with her various business and entertainment brands. While both parties have United States registrations for KYLIE MINOGUE and KYLIE JENNER respectively, the main tussle here is who has rights in and to the name KYLIE as a stand alone trademark.
Ms. Minogue’s trademarks, protected under Section 44 of the Trademark Act and first registered in 2006, cover a wide variety of goods and services, including perfumes, musical recordings, and entertainment services.
Ms. Jenner is the owner of a U.S. Registration for KYLIE JENNER for entertainment services, claiming a first use date of 2007. This registration was cited against an application for KYLIE for entertainment services in the name of Ms. Minogue. Not to be outdone, only a couple of days ago, Ms. Jenner upped the ante by applying for the mark KYLIE COSMETICS, despite the preexistence of the mark KYLIE MINOGUE for goods in the same class. This development, may be due in part, to Ms. Minogue’s description of Ms. Jenner in pleadings filed with the Trademark Office that allege that Ms. Jenner’s reality television reputation is tarnishing Ms. Minogue’s trademarks and brand.
This trademark opposition dust-up has been reported in World Intellectual Property Review, the Australian media, and entertainment publications everywhere. Should things get too provocative in the Trademark Office with the back and forth filing of additional trademark applications, Ms. Minogue may seek to take matters into her own hands by bringing an action in federal district court for trademark infringement and dilution.
This dispute is not going away anytime soon, particularly when it comes to the Kardashian/Jenner clan’s interest in seeking to continue to monetize the allure of its brand after all these years. With both parties having seemingly unlimited resources and revenue opportunities at stake, be prepared for a long battle.