Kylie Who?

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By Danielle Ollero

Although many think of Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe when hearing the name Kardashian, younger sister Kylie Jenner is now making a name for herself, quite literally.  In April and November of 2015, Kylie Jenner, Inc. filed several trademark applications for Jenner’s full name, along with just her first name “Kylie.”

Of Jenner’s two applications for “Kylie,”one covers “[e]ntertainment in the nature of providing information by means of a global computer network in the fields of entertainment and pop culture; entertainment services, namely, personal appearances by a celebrity, actress and model,” and “[p]roviding information by means of a global computer network in the field of fashion.” The other extends to “[a]dvertising services, namely, promoting the brands, goods and services of others; endorsement services, namely, promoting the goods and services of others.” There were no issues until KDB Pty Ltd. filed a Notice of Opposition (Notice) on behalf of Australian pop star Kylie Minogue on February 22, 2016.

The Notice cited an existing trademark registration for the name “Kylie” that covers entertainment services and music recordings.  Although not precisely the same categories that Jenner is using in her application, the similarities still may pose a threat to Jenner’s application.

Trademark law has a purpose that is two-fold.  First, to prevent confusion of the consumer when identifying the source of a particular mark.  Second, to protect the trademark owner’s reputation.  KDB asserts that if Jenner’s application were granted, then it would undermine both of these purposes for Minogue’s existing trademark.

KDB further argues that Jenner’s trademark would cause confusion amongst Minogue’s fans, and would dilute her brandKDB cites that Minogue owns the domain “www.kylie.com” and that as a survivor of breast cancer, a movement called “The Kylie Effect” was started for support of breast cancer research. These are an attempt to prove that Minogue’s fans know her as simply “Kylie,” so Jenner’s application will cause her fans to become confused.  As a result, this confusion would dilute Minogue’s brand by associating her with Jenner’s controversial statements.  However, this argument may still fall flat, as it is unclear whether Minogue will be able to prove that she is known simply by her first name unlike Madonna, Cher, Adele, or Prince, whose first names are their sole identities.

Minogue points to the longevity of her career, that she has been in the entertainment industry since 1979, and the she has participated in events in the United States and around the world.  She argues that even if her fans do not solely know her as “Kylie,” the name is more closely associated with her than with Jenner.  Although Jenner’s millions of social media followers may disagree with KDB.  It is impossible to deny that she is one of the most followed stars on social media, and is consistently featured in the tabloids.

The remainder of the Notice further lambasts Jenner as a “secondary reality television personality” who was a “supporting character” on the television series Keeping up With the Kardashians.   KDB also claims that Jenner’s social media presence has been subject to criticism from organizations such as the Disability Rights and African-American communities.  Although these appear to be jabs worthy of a social media war, these arguments will likely be affective in court as they go toward the protection of Minogue’s reputation.

Since the initial Notice was filed, KDB requested an extension to oppose the trademark, which was granted on April 4, 2016.  KDB believes that it has “good cause” to oppose Jenner’s additional trademarks.  Although these two starlets may be more comfortable settling disputes within the confines of their Twitter accounts, this will be one battle that will be fought in court.

Images Source: PopCrush

Erin Andrews’ Privacy Lawsuit and its Possible Effect on Hotel Policy

erinandrewsBy Joe Davison

On March 7th, 2016, a jury awarded $55 million to Erin Andrews, a famous sports reporter and cohost of the popular show Dancing With The Stars, in an invasion of privacy lawsuit. In 2008, Michael David Barrett, a convicted stalker, secretly videotaped Andrews through the peephole in her hotel room door at a Marriot hotel in Nashville. Barrett had conned a hotel employee into confirming Andrews’ hotel reservation and asked to reserve the adjoining room. After filming Andrews while she was undressing, Barrett posted the video online. Continue reading

Standing Room Only: The Limited Consumer Market for Ticket Sales

sold outBy Alex Bullock

Many sports and music fans find it difficult or expensive to get tickets to see their favorite team or band play live. Consumers face the challenge of finding an available ticket, and the tickets they do find are often more than what they are willing to pay. It almost feels like the system is built to favor ticket sellers and resellers. Enter New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman.

Schneiderman recently released a 43-page report entitled Obstructed View: What’s blocking New Yorkers from Getting Tickets that criticizes the ticket sales practices of sports and entertainment companies as unfair and deceptive. The report primarily focuses on consumer access to tickets. Continue reading

Daily Fantasy Sports Leagues: To Regulate or Not To Regulate

ffpicBy Tyler Quillin

Daily fantasy sports companies, DraftKings and FanDuel, have taken center stage in the past few weeks with a controversy surrounding potential impropriety in the form of insider trading. Adam Johnson, a Kentucky resident and DraftKings user, filed a class action lawsuit against DraftKings and FanDuel on October 8th in the United States District Court’s Southern District of New York alleging negligence, fraud, and a violation of consumer protection acts in New York, Kentucky, and Massachusetts.

Fantasy sports leagues are internet-based games that allow fans to “draft” players from a designated sports league to a team and apply a points system to the athletes’ performance in order to compete with other league members. Allowing increased opportunities to play throughout the week, season, and sporting world, daily fantasy sports leagues differ from traditional fantasy sports leagues because they begin and end on a single day. Continue reading

Negotiation, Arbitration, Deflation: Tom Brady’s Appeal Yet Another Fourth Quarter Comeback for Labor Unions

Deflategate PictureBy Grady Hepworth

What is there left to do for someone with four Super Bowl championships, two Super Bowl MVP awards, ten Pro Bowl selections, and who recently became the fourth NFL player in history to throw for over 400 touchdowns in a career? On September 3, 2015, Tom Brady added another accomplishment to his résumé: groundbreaking legal precedent.

In a controversial United States District Court decision, the Honorable Judge Richard Berman overturned a penalty imposed upon the New England Patriots’ quarterback, Tom Brady, through an arbitration mandated by the National Football League’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Although the NFL has appealed the judgment (the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has coincidently scheduled the hearing for the week of Super Bowl 50), the district court’s decision has far-reaching implications. For Patriots fans, the decision likely provides hope that another championship title looms on the horizon. However, for the legal world, the district court’s decision may have significantly shifted the balance of power under the NFL CBA. Continue reading