Kellogg's Takes Australian Tennis Player To Court For Branding Himself 'Special K'

from the special-kind-of-stupid dept

Last time we checked in with Kellogg's, makers of various breakfast and cereal products, they were happily sending out threat letters to a Mayan archaeology group that is only involved in the breakfast industry insofar as its employees eat breakfast, over its inclusion of a toucan bird in its logo. While Kellogg went on to settle that dispute, in light of its trademark claim being immensely dumb and a PR nightmare, the whole episode still left many of us wondering just how knowledgeable Kellogg's legal team is on trademark matters. Archaeology teams are not, generally, part of the breakfast or food industries. This seemed to be either bullying without a purpose or a brand of criminal stupidity at work. But, hey, even megalithic corporations with unlimited legal resources make mistakes.

Except we're now back to scratching our heads, as Kellogg's is going to court against an Australian tennis player because he wants to brand himself as "Special K."

South Australian tennis ace Thanasi Kokkinakis is at the centre of a court battle with global food company Kellogg’s over the right to officially brand himself Special K. Kokkinakis and volatile doubles partner Nick Kyrgios have been affectionately dubbed Australia’s ­Special Ks by the media and the public.

An unofficial Special Ks Twitter ­account has also been created in their honour. But US-based multinational Kellogg’s — which holds a 59-year-old Australian trademark for its Special K breakfast cereal — has launched Federal Court action in Adelaide to stop Kokkinakis, 21, from using Special K as part of a branding campaign across clothing and tennis wear.

This is the sort of thing that causes us to roll our eyes at how some companies look to enforce their trademarks. The whole point of trademark law is to keep the public from being confused as to the source of a product or service. Special K is indeed a well-known cereal brand. It is not, however, going to be confused for a doubles tennis team. Nor is anyone going to manage confusion at the sight of the term being used on tennis gear. Kellogg's, to my knowledge, is not in the athletics industry. It's a foodstuffs company.

Sadly, nobody involved in this legal dispute is commenting publicly about it as it is now set to go before a Federal Court. I say sadly because this is absurd. Either Kellogg's has a valid trademark for "Special K" for clothing and athletic wear, or it doesn't. If it did, I'm struggling to understand how Kokkinakis' trademark application wasn't denied by the trademark office immediately. That seems to indicate Kellogg's doesn't hold any such mark, in which case what are they doing? Different industries, laughably low concern for any consumer confusion, no infringement.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 12:01pm

    Special K is indeed a well-known cereal brand. It is not, however, going to be confused for a doubles tennis team.

    I'm actually willing to extend the benefit of the doubt on this one. While professional athletes are not, generally, confused with consumer products, they are very often branded with said products. Particularly for individual or doubles sports (Tennis, Golf, Swimming, Bicycling, etc.) corporate sponsoring of individual athletes is a big deal. It's fairly reasonable to assume that confusion over whether or not Kellogg is sponsoring said athlete could exist here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 12:11pm

      Re:

      Exactly. Timmy has practically ZERO understanding of trademark law. No one will think the players are cereal, but they might think they are sponsored by the cereal company. This stuff isn't hard. Timmy just makes it seem that way--to the constant embarrassment of TD.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        ThaumaTechnician (profile), 8 Jun 2017 @ 12:24pm

        Re: Re:

        Y'know, I might take semi-seriously what one of the 147 'Anonymous Cowards' who like to pollute the comments section here on a regular basis, if they had enough cohones to at the very least, adopt an anonymous nom-de-plume.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 12:27pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          At least--unlike Timmy--you're smart enough to forgo discussing the merits of the issue.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 12:57pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I am no more or less anonymous than you. It makes no difference. You may step down from your high horse now.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 1:00pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            They like to ride it like they are royalty of some kind.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 1:09pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              For what it's worth, if this site used Disqus like so many others I'd gladly sign in and use that. I'm just not interested in creating yet another account I have to maintain. If I couldn't post here anonymously (or with Disqus) I simply wouldn't post.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 1:20pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I am much in the same boat, I hate trying to keep up with all of the accounts all over the place, in addition to that, the world is an unforgiving place. I reserve the right to change my mind on a subject as new information comes up, but most people will still hate you based on something you said in the past not realizing you don't even hold that position any more.

                Staying anon helps with that. What is funny is that people will attribute things I did not say to me because I match up with what a few other posters have stated in comments.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 9 Jun 2017 @ 12:02am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "I am much in the same boat, I hate trying to keep up with all of the accounts all over the place"

                  You may notice that Thauma merely suggested you adopt some kind of name as a differential, not necessarily an account. An account would be preferable so that we don't then end up with a situation where jokers post using the same name as you, but it's not necessary if we can at least tell how many people are talking and who said what.

                  "What is funny is that people will attribute things I did not say to me because I match up with what a few other posters have stated in comments."

                  Which is actually why people would prefer if you guys came up with some kind of name. When you have a run of ACs talking to each other, it can be difficult to distinguish between them - even the "snowflake" system that's been adopted to differentiate IPs can be confusing. If you seem to be stating what someone else has been saying in another thread, there's no way to know whether or not that was you. It's as frustrating for those responding as it is for you.

                  Your choice of course, but you can't honestly refuse to create a way to be differentiated from other posters, then complain when people mix you up with someone else. You're the only one who can do something about that.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Roger Strong (profile), 8 Jun 2017 @ 1:27pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It's not about anonymity. It's about integrity.

            Your attacks on writers and forum members take any stance that suits you in the moment. You'll declare them rabidly pro-government AND rabidly anti-government in different posts. Whatever stance the writers take you declare it wrong, not matter how much you contradict your previous posts.

            Being just another Anonymous Coward protects you from being called out on your dishonesty, because there are other ACs. Sure, others can spot you by your modus operandi, but they can never connect posts with certainly.

            "ThaumaTechnician" and others may be anonymous, but using consistent nom-de-plume keeps them honest in that regard and others.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 1:57pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Your wording and tone illustrate /why/ I prefer to remain anonymous. I, personally, haven't attacked any writers nor forum members other than to suggest Thauma was free to put away his soapbox. That was done for exactly the same reason I would say the same to you. You assume that "anonymous" automatically means "bad" when many of the most insightful comments I've read here are, in fact, from anonymous posters.

              My comments stand on their own, individually. Take them or leave them, I don't really care. But I actually prefer not to allow my forum name to pre-color general interpretation of my posts as your name will now do so for me. I will now subconsciously assume that any post from you or Thauma is biased and ill-founded simply because your world view is so narrow as to discriminate by default against any anonymous poster.

              /shrug. This is the world we live in.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 9 Jun 2017 @ 12:52am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "I, personally, haven't attacked any writers nor forum members"

                So you claim. But, without any track record, your claim has no inherent credibility. You could be an innocent who's been accused merely because of your anonymity. You could be one of the regular trolls, who is hiding behind anonymity to avoid consequences and accountability for their statements.

                You can't fault people for jumping to an incorrect conclusion when you refuse to give them the information that would lead to an informed one.

                "My comments stand on their own, individually"

                Which defeats the ability to have a conversation, doesn't it?

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 1:11am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  What kind of circular predatory reasoning is this? The credibility of a post depends upon the track record of the poster?

                  "You can't fault people for jumping to an incorrect conclusion when you refuse to give them the information that would lead to an informed one."

                  Yes you can! You can fault them for not reading and considering the post itself, but instead changing the subject to something irrelevant.

                  "Which defeats the ability to have a conversation, doesn't it?"

                  Do it doesn't you misdirecting Mean Girl. A conversation can be had between two well meaning adults, quite easily. People have the everyday. Just not so much on this site, which your haunt with your lady silliness.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    PaulT (profile), 9 Jun 2017 @ 1:29am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "The credibility of a post depends upon the track record of the poster?"

                    If the post is regarding that user's posting history, yes.

                    "Do it doesn't you misdirecting Mean Girl"

                    Oh, it's you. Sorry, I did think I was talking to a sane adult for a moment there and not a misogynistic fantasist. Carry on.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 2:02pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              --"ThaumaTechnician" and others may be anonymous, but using consistent nom-de-plume keeps them honest in that regard and others.--

              No it does not. Many of you are just like Trump in that regard. You have no problem ignoring your own dissonance and ignorance.

              Besides, I am more concerned about people that feel that need to keep people honest by uncovering who they are rather than the twits running around as AC's. The only think you care about is find out who people are an marginalizing them if they stray too far from the TD community approved echo chamber.

              You might not think this, but TD is full of a bunch of armchair politicians. It is likely all you will ever do is come here, make a few comments about things gone wrong with the world and then actually do nothing about it.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 1:20pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "pollute"

          Sure, you are the authority as to what is correct and what is not, what people should say and what they shouldn't...

          Freedom of speech you idiot.

          Don't like what some people post here then close the damn forum, if you can.

          Cohones. Sure a lot of cohones if you use another pseudonym that is not anonymous coward, now you are a brave anonymous user too. You are ridiculous.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Roger Strong (profile), 8 Jun 2017 @ 1:46pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            ..you idiot.

            Don't like what some people post here then close the damn forum, if you can.

            Which seems to be your goal. No matter the position someone here takes, you'll oppose it. Abusively.

            I used to lurk in the Sci.Space Usenet newsgroups, where you could regularly see posts from people building and maintaining spacecraft, NASA mission controllers, and others with interesting insider points of view. There were wonderful, wonderful debates and stories.

            Also another group where writers and producers for a favorite science fiction show would regularly post. I watched the show more for the wonderful behind-the-scenes stories than for the show itself.

            As more of the general public got access, the signal-to-noise ratio dropped. Once AOL connected to Usenet, it was all over. Endless abusive posts and conspiracy theories targeting the insiders drove them all away.

            That honestly seems to be your goal here.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              ThaumaTechnician (profile), 9 Jun 2017 @ 5:52am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Thanks, and thanks to all the people who demonstrably showed that they understand my point.

              Given the very really possibility that some people will put an inordinate amount of effort into making sure that they do NOT understand what point I was underscoring, I'll make it plain:

              1) The original AC said: "Timmy has practically ZERO understanding of trademark law."

              Really? And who are you who knows so much about trademark law?

              An AC who was better, more experienced at drive-by trolling would have asserted, without identifying themselves, that they work in, no, they run the United States Patent and Trademark Office, THEN they would toss out an unsubstantiated opinion of "Timmy"'s expertise.

              An opportunity missed.

              2) Yeah, Roger, I too miss the Usenet newsgroups of old. Back in the '80s, I nearly fell off my chair when I read a respectful, detailed reply by Marvin Minsky to a user's question in talk.origins. (Or at least, I think it was Dr. Minsky.) Sigh, the good 'ole days, eh.

              3) Obviously, I'm not the only one who's noticed that TD seems to have been flooded, for the last 1-2 years, by anonymous posters who don't want to discuss, help, correct/fix, nor elucidate, but simply create a hostile environment that's meant to drive people away and shut down the forum. Y'know, like Shiva Ayyadurai is doing via lawsuit.

              In case all the ACs don't get it, the reason I'm an 'Insider' is that I've put money where my mouth is, by contributing to the TD defense fund. I think that the small contribution I've made is testament to the importance I give to the concept of 'free speech'. What have you'all done, eh?

              4) As far all the difficulty, the tedium, the bother of 'managing' all those complicated and multiple logins everywhere. Sigh. Really? Ever heard of a password manager, FFS?

              5) When I was living in Montreal, I used to listen to CBC's Radio Noon. CBC Radio One in Montreal, at less than 1% of the radio listenership, is pretty much the least-listened-to station in Montreal - unlike its sister french-language station, CBV-FM which regularly attains the top position for listenership.

              The non-shouty-ness of the CBC and the complete absence of any commercial advertising, on the other hand, make Radio One (and other CBC Radio offerings) much more agreeable to listen to than anything else on Canadian airwaves, IMHO. I really, really feel sorry for the poor choices you Mercans have to put up with down there.

              Whenever the topic of the day on Radio One's Radio Noon show was about Canadian federalism, the call-in would be flooded (taken over, really) by non-anglophone separatists who could barely structure an English sentence properly (by using French sentence structure). It was obvious that they had received a call to arms to attack.

              I used to wonder, each and every time: "Do these people really think that they're able to fool anyone? Do they really think that we'll believe that they regularly listen to Radio One? Do they think we're idiots?"

              So, to you, one of the hundred of Anonymous Cowards who seem to enjoy UN-identifiably arguing with each other (such that we can't track the argument) and hurling invective at other, infinitely more qualified and knowledgeable commenters here, all the while shouting incessantly, "First Amendment!", I say: Do any of you really think that any of us take your opinions seriously, take them as worth considering? Do you think that you have ANY CHANCE of suasion, of getting any return on all that spark and smoke you generate?

              Freedom of Speech means nothing if no one is listening to you.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 12:53am

      Re:

      Sure, and companies *pay* for such branding. I'm scratching my head here at why Kelloggs isn't overjoyed at having what is in effect a *free sponsorship deal*. Sounds like a terrific way to generate exposure for your products. At least it's considerably better advertising than being an ass about who owns words.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 1:07am

        Re: Re:

        Yes, I imagine you scratch your head about a lot of things, don't you? For example, saying someone is "being an ass" is a little rude, don't you think? Why do you need to be rude? Do you have a point that you are capable of making whilst not being rude? Or is rudeness your point?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    aerinai (profile), 8 Jun 2017 @ 12:01pm

    Yet another lost opportunity...

    I've never understood why these people are so quick to shoot themselves in the foot over this stuff. The marketing team could have had a field day with this in terms of cross-branding endorsements etc.

    Oh well.. gotta protect that IP?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2017 @ 12:25am

      Re: Yet another lost opportunity...

      This!

      Best way to keep the "Special K" term associated with Kelloggs? Endorse these guys! Sponsor them individually! Take their nickname and use it in commercials and ads. In 5 years, nobody will know they had the nickname for any other reason than for their association with the cereals.

      And it would probably be cheaper than the lawsuits as well...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Wendy Cockcroft, 9 Jun 2017 @ 7:14am

        Re: Re: Yet another lost opportunity...

        What's happening here is that Kelloggs believe they OWN the name "Special K," which limits the use thereof to themselves alone.

        It seems to be a common trope in trademark law. That it's possible that some people *might* link the tennis player with the cereal is worth considering, but that can only be a good thing — free marketing for Kelloggs — for as long as the man behaves himself well. I presume their trademark lawyer has an eye on that. However, trademark law and marketing are different things. I expect to see further attempts to conflate the two until a company can in fact own a name and limit the use to themselves in every area. Well, I can see them trying to make that happen.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 12:10pm

    Say what

    I thought the special k cereal was long since discontinued, and gone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 8 Jun 2017 @ 12:29pm

      Re: Say what

      Just the opposite; they have a dozen or so different flavors or Special K now, plus other Special K branded snacks and drinks.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 4:37pm

        Re: Re: Say what

        "I thought the special k cereal was long since discontinued, and gone."

        It should begone; the "special" in "special k" stands for "super sugarized" -- aka "diabetes in a box"

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 12:16pm

    whoops...

    "If it did, I'm struggling to understand how Kokkinakis' trademark application wasn't denied by the trademark office immediately."

    This is TD right? The same place that constantly lambastes that very office for granting these things with barely any checks or challenges? Among other things?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 12:17pm

    You know, I think I'm beginning to understand these lawsuits. The issue is that any company trying to build/maintain a brand becomes a clothing labeler -- after all, tennis players don't really have much to do with clothing other than that they wear it, and yet THAT is where they want to register their mark.

    However, I can remember back in the 80's, the Special K-branded tennis outfits and the TV commercials featuring famous tennis players -- basically, they're both playing in the same space for promotional purposes.

    In this situation, the brands could very easily be confused, not for the original product, but for their brand awareness products.

    If I were Kellog's, this is the argument I'd be making in court. And there IS room for brand dilution, if their tennis activewear is associated with specific players who will only be well known for the next decade at most.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 8 Jun 2017 @ 12:55pm

      Re:

      One example of this is the guy who claimed copyright on "Stealth" and started suing everyone who used the word.

      Early on, Northrop Grumman paid Stoller $10 and agreed to abandon its trademark applications to use "stealth bomber" in spinoff products like model airplanes and video games. In return he agreed not to oppose Northrop's use of "stealth" in aircraft or defense equipment. Which in turn was used to justify payment demands from others, including the makers of the film "Stealth."

      He slap this "Stealth" label on random items of sports equipment, apparel, fishing and boating gear and whatnot. Then claim that his copyright extended to those industries too. And fire off payment demands.

      Eventually the scheme went Prenda. The courts got tired of his shakedowns, found plenty of criminal behavior in his tactics, and shut him down.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 8 Jun 2017 @ 12:18pm

    Special Konfusion

    The konfusion I discern is the konfusion that Kelloggs lawyers exhibit in their zeal to enforce their mark in an industry which they don't participate. Further konfusion comes with the idea that marks 'must' be 'forcefully' protected, even when products and industries are different, and there is no possibility of consumer confusion.

    If the counsel are in-house, then they are justifying their existence, if they are out of house, then they are padding their billing. Some wonder where the epithet 'shyster' comes from.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 12:50pm

    Next up we'll have General Mills stop the English from saying "cheerio".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 1:01pm

    Also 10 other people and a drug

    Wikipedia lists 10 other people using that nickname, mostly in sports: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_K_%28disambiguation%29

    Plus the drug ketamine and an airplane. Then it links to "Special A", D, L, M, and X.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 1:16pm

    I would love to see Kellog's trying to sue all those drug lords in Canada that use special k for the branding of their ketamine product.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 1:51pm

    Seems they should be thanking him,-1 Kellogg's. Now if he tries to market his own cereal...I eat Life cereal.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2017 @ 5:48pm

    This is a slam dunk for Kellogs

    I'm not fan of Kelloggs, they sponsor too much left-wing crazy stuff for my taste. But in this case, I don't think they will face any sustainable opposition, it's just obvious. Anyone that saw an athlete perform in public with "Special-K" on his clothing would assume that Kelloggs sponsored him. Hard to see any other way. Hopeless cause to defend against.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Danielle Walker, 8 Jun 2017 @ 7:48pm

    "Special K"

    The irony of all this, in Australia at least, "Special K" is the street name for the drug Ketamine.

    Why hasn't Kelloggs gone after the black market drug industry with a Trademark complaint?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    justLoops, 8 Jun 2017 @ 11:10pm

    they are doing this for many years:

    Kelloggs sued the owner of the website honeyloops.de
    which was the Homepage of the German Band "Honeyloops" who made loop and sample based electronic music
    and existed well before Kelloggs even got the trademark "honey nut loops" for cereals.
    They settled out of court and he had to transfer the website to Kelloggs.
    As proof I can offer is this Page https://www.musik-sammler.de/artist/honeyloops/
    with some samplers that include music of this Band back in 1996.
    And: https://web.archive.org/web/20010307064754/http://www.honeyloops.de:80/
    Is a snapshot of the honeyloops.de page from 2001 with a statement in German about the Domain being transfered to Kelloggs.
    Kelloggs is pulling these shady trademark claims for years and years now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Stropp, 9 Jun 2017 @ 12:04am

    *Kellogg's, to my knowledge, is not in the athletics industry. It's a foodstuffs company.*

    Actually, Kelloggs and its products Special K and Nutrigrain have a long association with sports in Australia. Even if those products aren't really all that healthy.

    An example. https://www.target.com/c/sports-nutrition/special-k/-/N-4xo0bZ56gqf

    While I tend to agree with you that most of the trademark suits that you cover are completely baseless, I'm not so sure this one is. Kelloggs association with sports in this country, as has previously been noted, has included branded clothing. There's a good chance for trademark confusion here.

    Besides, I'm from Adelaide, and I've never heard Kokkinakis referred to as Special K. He's always been called Kokk.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mikhael Abi-Saleh (profile), 9 Jun 2017 @ 1:42am

    This is the world we live in.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Bergman (profile), 9 Jun 2017 @ 2:45am

    Soylent Green

    The more I ponder what sort of brand confusion there would be between breakfast cereal and tennis players, the more sinister it all starts to look.

    I have to ask, is Special K made of people?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John85851 (profile), 9 Jun 2017 @ 10:14am

    The same as the NFL and the Super Bowl

    This sounds like the same issue as the NFL and the Super Bowl: the NFL gets companies to pay big money to be able to use the word "Super Bowl" in their advertising. In exchange, the NFL goes after everyone else who tries to use the word "Super Bowl" to protect their licensee's investment.

    The same applies here: there are probably companies who have paid to license the Kellogg's brands, including Special K. But now these tennis players are using the words without any kind of licensing agreement.
    It would be interesting to see if Kelloggs themselves came up with the idea of taking the tennis players to court or if their licensors pushed them into it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 9 Jun 2017 @ 10:41am

      Re: The same as the NFL and the Super Bowl

      It's not the same thing.

      Those who pay the NFL to use "Super Bowl" are referring specifically to "Super Bowl" the sporting event.

      When someone registers "Stealth" as a brand name for their sporting equipment, those who use "Stealth" in the name of their fishing line or aircraft or automobile DO NOT need to license the name. Different industry, no chance of customer confusion.

      The tennis players can use the words without any kind of licensing agreement because they DO NOT need a licensing agreement. They're not in the food industry.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2017 @ 12:34pm

    They could always call themselves "Special snowflaKes"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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