Kylie Minogue, the Australian singer, songwriter and actress, has been in the entertainment business for decades, and owns a family of trademark registrations for her name.
Kylie Jenner, the American reality tv star, recently filed an application to register her name as a trademark.
On February 22nd, Minogue commenced a legal proceeding in the United States Trademark Office to prevent Jenner from registering KYLIE as a trademark, on several grounds, including that Jenner’s use of the name will cause consumer confusion and tarnish the KYLIE brand.
Minogue should win in the Trademark Office. She’s the senior user of the KYLIE brand for entertainment services. (Minogue has been performing under the name KYLIE, and has owned the www.kylie.com URL, since before Jenner was even born.) The bigger problem is that having adopted a first name as her brand, Minogue is likely stuck co-existing with other celebrities who were given the same name – even, as she put it, a “secondary reality television personality” like Kylie Jenner. While the Trademark Office can stop Jenner from getting a trademark registration, it can’t prevent her from actually using her name. Minogue would have to bring a federal lawsuit to achieve that goal. I’m not sure Minogue would win, but it sure would be good fodder for the next season of Keeping Up With The Kardashians.