California native singer Katy Perry is known around the world for her catchy, pop-oriented tunes. However, she is now involved in several intellectual property disputes in both the United States and Australia. An Australian fashion designer named Katie Perry is suing the singer for launching her own clothing line in Australia, claiming that she owns the trademark on the term “Katie Perry” for clothing sold in Australia. Katie Perry claims that the singer’s stage name, Katy Perry, could easily be confused with her brand within the market, and that the singer is infringing her trademark.
This is not the first time the two have clashed. Katie Perry began producing clothing in 2006, while Katy Perry came to global fame in 2008. In 2009, the fashion designer attempted to trademark her name as a brand in Australia, and the singer’s lawyers filed an objection. The singer was convinced to drop her opposition to the designer’s trademark application, a decision she may regret 10 years later. The 2009 case was portrayed as a “David-vs.-Goliath” issue of a private citizen facing celebrity overreach. Now, singer Katy Perry is being sued for allegedly violating designer Katie Perry’s trademark. Of course, the question is further confused because both people have similar-sounding names, although the singer’s original name was Katy Hudson.
The singer is also involved in another intellectual property case. BackGrid, a celebrity photography agency, is suing Katy Perry for sharing a photo of herself, taken by their agency, on her Instagram account in 2016. While Katy Perry appears in the image, the copyright belongs to the photographer or photography agency according to standard U.S. case law.
Especially with the rise of digital media and global brands, intellectual property is critically important to a business’ identity and profitability. People facing infringement of their rights or requiring protection can contact the Wang IP Law Group for strong representation in intellectual property litigation.