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Katy Perry (Singer) Wants To Stop Katie Perry (Designer) From Selling Katie Perry Branded Clothing

from the confused-yet? dept

Cybeardjm points us to the news that Katy Perry, the pop singer, is apparently trying to stop a clothing designer named Katie Perry from selling clothes under her own name. Now, the details aren’t entirely clear from the Billboard article here, but… Katie Perry (the designer) applied for a trademark for “Katie Perry” loungewear in September of 2008. Katy Perry, the singer, sent a cease-and-desist, suggesting that the designer was using a “similar name” to jump on the singer’s popularity.

Oh, and just to make it even more confusing, the singer Katy Perry’s real name is actually Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, while the designer’s real name is Katie Jane Perry, but she often goes by the name Katie Howell. Got that?

Now, there are issues with both sides here. While I understand why the designer wants to trademark her line of clothing, given the “common” nature of the name (and the famous singer who has one so close) it’s questionable if that’s a reasonable trademark claim. So, I think it would actually be quite reasonable for the singer to fight against the trademark being issued. However… I’m not sure it makes sense to try to stop the actual clothing line from going forward. After all, if it is designed by Katie Perry, then you could argue that the name is accurate and descriptive. So, the trademark request in the first place may be questionable, but so is the attempt to stop the use of the name at all in a line of clothing.

Update: So the singer has clarified the situation and it sounds like the designer blew the whole thing out of proportion, potentially interpreting a notice of a trademark application by the singer to be a “lawsuit.” So, basically, both are trying to get trademarks on their names, which is still silly, but no one’s filed any lawsuits yet.

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Comments on “Katy Perry (Singer) Wants To Stop Katie Perry (Designer) From Selling Katie Perry Branded Clothing”

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32 Comments
Nathania Johnson (profile) says:

If I were a designer for the right reasons, i would want my name to be a little bit different. i would probably throw my middle name in there if i were the designer. Katy Jane Perry sounds cool.

Interestingly, I wonder if Katy Perry singer used Perry because her original name sounds like Kate Hudson the actress.

No matter the intentions of anyone, i don’t know think trademark should be issued here.

Duae Quartunciae says:

It was not Katie Perry that blew it out of proportion. It was third hand media reports. Check it out for yourself. I think you need another update and a retraction. It seems to me that both Katie and Katy are being blamed for things they aren’t doing.

Katie Perry been using her name online to sell her designs since 2007 at least (www.katieperry.com.au).

Raybone says:

sounds similar to the band Green Jello

Back in the 90s, there was a great project band that among others included Tool drummer Dana Carey called Green Jello. They were sued by the food co. that produced Jello over TM. Unbelievably, the band lost and had to change the name to Green Jelly. They were in different markets and yet the courts decided to support the big corporation vs the band.

From Wikipedia

At the height of the band’s fame, Green Jellö was plagued by multiple lawsuits. In 1992, they were sued by Kraft Foods for trademark infringement. Due to the name “Jellö”, and more so the band slogan “GREEN JELLĂ– SUCKS!”, the band were forced to change their name to Green JellĂż, with an umlaut over the Y. This umlaut, according to the band, “changed the ‘Y’ sound to an ‘O’ sound”. The band was forced to re-release their album and long form video, as well as change all merchandise carrying the “Jellö” name. (Some fans of the band had suggested the band had just added a “W” on the end [as in Jellow] but legal ramifications might still have come from it.)

Later in 1992, Green JellĂż was sued by the Kellogg Company for trademark infringement of their Toucan Sam character, as well as others. The cover of Cereal Killer (both album and video) depicted “Toucan Son of Sam” the “Cereal Killer” that kills other cereal characters, such as Snap, Crackle and Pop, the Trix Rabbit, and Lucky the Leprechaun in extremely gruesome fashion. The band were forced to change the cover art (originally depicting Toucan Son of Sam), as well as place a white box in the center of the new cover which stated “Not affiliated with or endorsed by Kraft/General Foods”. Additionally, the band was forced to remove the music video for the song “Cereal Killer” from the long form home video release.

In 1993, Green JellĂż was also sued by the management of Metallica for partial use of their song “Enter Sandman” in the song “Electric Harley House (Of Love)”. The bass and rhythm guitars in the solo section of the song play a riff close to that of “Enter Sandman”, and even though the band mentions it in lyric immediately after the riff, the band was forced to remove the part from the later CD versions of Cereal Killer and pull the music video from MTV.

This illustrates the the problems associated with the misuse of TM. The band was definitely within fair use AND parody. I wonder how much my original CD is worth to collectors now?

Kay Lam-Beattie (user link) says:

Katie and Katy

Katie Perrie was selling clothes long before Katy Perry kissed a girl.

This means the designer at least has prior use on her side, and the singer can’t stop her from continuing to sell her clothes. The singer’s apparently had her lawyers send a cease and desist letter demanding the designer stop using the name though, which is kind of rude.

The same thing happened in Australia to Harry Potter a few years back – a clothing company had been selling the Harry Potter brand of clothes for years before JK Rowling’s books came out. The courts held that Time Warner didn’t have the right to stop the clothing company from continuing to use its brand name.

It may be possible for the singer successfully oppose the designer’s pending Australian trade mark – that could depend on the circumstances. The USPTO records show the singer has also put in a trade mark application for clothing in the US, though I haven’t seen any evidence of a Madrid Protocol application being filed for Australia.

Katy Perry Fan (user link) says:

So messed up ...

Okay, 1st, I don’t think the designer did anything wrong. Her NAME IS Katie Perry. So it’s totally right for her to use her name.

2nd, I HATE the article title saying how Katy Perry the singer is trying to sue. She didn’t. It’s her manager or producer or whatever trying not to lose money. But Katy Perry the singer herself never said anything. So the title is misleading.

But anyways, I hope the designer gets what she wants. She is freakin innocent here!

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