Ms. Minogue filed a Notice of Opposition with the United States Patent and Trademark Office claiming that the granting of an exclusive trademark for the use of the name “Kylie” could create tremendous confusion amongst consumers. It is Ms. Minogue’s position that she has used the trademarked name “Kylie” for years in her marketing, brand building and charitable and philanthropic pursuits, thereby creating a reputation that could be damaged or confused with the young American’s business ventures into clothing, fashion and modeling.
A trademark is a legal determination that a particular person or entity has the right to use a name or a phrase, exclusively. This protection extends to logos that a business or a person uses to advertise and brand goods and services.An infringement of a trademark happens when another person or entity uses a trademarked name for their own business purposes. The issue then becomes whether the use of the same name could cause confusion amongst consumers and businesses within the general economy. It is Ms. Minogue’s position that Ms. Brenner’s application to exclusively use the name “Kylie” is an infringement upon her previously trademarked use of the name “Kylie” within the scope of her entertainment and philanthropic career. It is also significant that these two young women present themselves in a similar manner to the public; both are high profile celebrities who exist inside of the entertainment filed. Hence the actions of one could easily be confused or attributed to the other.
The opposition process will now proceed through the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The appeals board will review the Notice of Opposition and apply the following criteria to their determination. The key factors to be considered are:
- The degree of similarity between the trademark names
- The extent to which the consumer goods or services are likely to be confused with one another
- The manner in which the goods and/or services are advertised
- The conditions under which the goods and/or services are purchased
- The target audience for the purchase of such goods and/or services
- Any evidence of actual confusion between the two trademarks
- The defendant’s intent regarding the use of the trademark
- The plaintiff’s strength in the need and the use of the trademark
These factors will be used to determine if the petitioner’s use of the trademarked name will, in fact, create true confusion amongst consumers and businesses alike when attempting to make a purchase for the item or entertainment attached to the trademark name. Therefore if the Patent and Trademark Board finds that there could be some genuine confusion amongst consumers as to which Kylie they are purchasing from or supporting in a charitable or philanthropic manner, it could deny Ms. Brenner’s request to trademark the name “Kylie.”
If you or someone you know is currently dealing with this legal issue, please contact the law firm of Owen Hodge. Owen Hodge are always happy to assist clients in understanding the full ramifications of any and all of your legal needs. Please feel free to call us at your earliest convenience to schedule a consultation at 1800 780 770.
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