Katy Perry v Katie Perry: Merchandise trade mark battle

Singer Katheryn Hudson is facing trade mark infringement claims by Australian fashion designer for selling clothing bearing her famous stage name, Katy Perry.

The designer in question, Katie Jane Taylor, trade marked her maiden name Katie Perry in Australia in 2008 and first sought proceedings against Katy and merchandise company, Killer Queen LLC, in October 2019. The specific items Katie’s barrister, Richard Cobden, claimed were in scope of the breach included products such as pizza-themed pyjamas and necklaces.

Katy’s lawyers, although admitting the branding is ‘deceptively similar’, have denied infringement, arguing a defense of good faith. Furthermore, they have filed a cross-claim to cancel Katie’s trade mark, alleging it to be misleading and deceptive; A preliminary court hearing in April said that Katy Perry had adopted the stage name 4 years prior to Katie’s trade mark registration in 2004, consisting of a ‘short form of her own first name and her mother’s maiden name’, and hence established a reputation under the name first.

The matter is due to return to court however, Katy Perry has denied to give evidence or make an appearance in the proceedings. Instead, Steven Jensen, a partner of her talent management agent, Direct Management Group, will act as principal witness.

By Ellie King, student from Southampton Solent University

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