New advertising guidelines from 1 March 2017
Kylie Minogue versus Kylie Jenner – the “Kylie” battle
In our April 2016 newsletter we mentioned that Kylie Jenner had applied to register the word mark “Kylie” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to which Kylie Minogue had filed an opposition. On 19 January 2017 the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board reported that Kylie Minogue withdrew her opposition which was dismissed “without prejudice”. It has been reported in the media that Kylie Jenner and Kylie Minogue reached an amicable settlement before Kylie Minogue withdrew her opposition.
Australian law provides for opposition of trade marks where a trade mark is considered to be “too similar” to an existing trade mark and where it may cause deception or confusion (refer to IP Australia’s website for further information.)
Paul McCartney seeking to regain the rights to Beatles’ songs
Paul McCartney has filed a lawsuit in a US Federal Court seeking to reclaim copyright ownership of a collection of Beatles’ songs that he wrote with John Lennon. Copyright to the songs was purchased by Michael Jackson in 1985 (where he outbid McCartney) and then sold to Sony upon his death.
McCartney is seeking a judicial declaration for “unclouded title to his rights” citing a provision of the US Copyright Act where the copyright can be claimed back after a certain period of time. The first eligible song will be ‘Love Me Do’, becoming available in October 2018 followed by another 266 songs. The lawsuit will raise the question about whether US copyright law rights will supersede valid contractual arrangements to assign away musical rights.
In Australia, there is no ability or right which allows an author to reclaim copyright ownership. Accordingly, the current owner of the Australian copyright in “Love Me Do” and other Beatles songs cannot be forced to transfer the Australian Copyright in those songs to McCartney.
We will monitor the case and provide an update in a future newsletter.