Nobody wants their names taken away from them, not least any celebrity who has spent a lifetime building it. That’s why Kylie Minogue, the Australian pop star who has been endeared to her fans as simply Kylie for almost three decades now, could not but oppose Kylie Jenner’s bid to trademark her first name to be used in advertisements across the globe.
According to Fox News, Kylie Jenner filed a U.S. trademark application for the name “Kylie” under advertising last August, and although she remained unopposed for a long time, Minogue has now decided to mount a legal bid to prevent Jenner claiming ownership of the name.
KDB, an Australian firm representing Minogue, filed an opposition to Jenner’s application last week, claiming that allowing her to take the Kylie name would cause confusion for Minogue fans and dilute her brand.
The legal papers described Kylie Jenner as a “secondary reality television personality,” adding that her “photographic exhibitionism and controversial posts have drawn criticism from, for example, the disability rights and African-American communities.”
As BBC News noted, that could be referring to Jenner’s decision to pose in a wheelchair for Interview magazine last December, which understandably drew widespread criticism from all over the world.
In contrast, the legal papers describe Kylie Minogue as an “internationally renowned performing artist, humanitarian, and breast cancer activist.”
Minogue has been particularly supported by her fans in what is quickly becoming a mounting legal battle with Jenner, with many music fans pointing out that one of Kylie Minogue’s best-known songs, a cover of “The Loco-Motion,” was released in 1987, 10 years before Jenner was born, according to the Economic Times.
Her fans also point out that Kylie Minogue registered her website address, kylie.com, in 1996 — before Kylie Jenner was even born.
The Australian singer herself took to Twitter in an attempt to show Jenner her “proper place.”
Having said that, Jenner is a much bigger star in the U.S., especially on social media. With about 80 million online followers, Jenner easily surpasses Minogue as far as her support among the Millennials is concerned.
Although Minogue is a star in the UK, she has never been that big in the States.
In such a context, one could expect the legal battle between with the Kylies to heat up, with both stars enjoying a huge fan base in different parts of the world. While the case for Minogue is obviously strong, Jenner has the backing of the Kardashians, and that could be enough to flip the public opinion in her favor, at least in the United States.
This is not the first time that a celebrity has been embroiled in a legal battle over the trademarking of a name. As the Guardian reports, in 2007, Angelina Jolie became embroiled in a similar battle after perfume designer Symine Salimpour attempted to trademark the name Shiloh for her new fragrance.
However, Jolie’s daughter is also called Shiloh, and so she filed an application against Symine but eventually lost a long-drawn out battle against the usage of the name.
It remains to be seen if Kylie Minogue’s decision to legally pursue Jenner and stop her from trademarking “Kylie” will prove useful, but by all accounts, she has a very strong case that the courts would find tough to ignore.
Kylie Jenner, on the other hand, will certainly look to her family for support.
[Photos by Jamie McCarthy and Graham Denholm/Getty Images]