Katy Perry Just Lost A Legal Battle Against Katie Perry

Katy Perry, the singer, lost a trademark case to Katie Perry, the fashion desinger.

By Kevin C. Neece | Published

katy perry

In a somewhat confusing case, Katy Perry was found to have violated the Australian trademark of fashion designer Katie Taylor, who trades as Katie Perry, a trademark the American Idol judge had originally tried to have nullified. Here’s how the courtroom drama unfolded. According to BBC News, designer Katie Taylor began selling clothes under her birth name, Katie Perry, in 2007 and trademarked the name in 2008, the same year the singer, born Katheryn Hudson, gained fame under her similar stage name.

In 2009, according to the Katie Perry website, Katy Perry’s company sent Taylor a cease and desist letter, demanding that she pull her clothing from the market, end the practice of trading under the name in perpetuity, and sign a document agreeing to never sell under the name Katie Perry again. The motion to dismiss her trademark failed, and the star stopped pursuing legal action against Taylor. But when Taylor saw Perry’s tour merchandise, she filed a claim stating that Perry had violated the trademark she had tried to stop.

An Australian court has now agreed, siding with Taylor and stating that, while Perry used the name in “good faith” and does not owe Taylor personal damages, her company, Kitty Purry, will be required to pay Taylor restitution. The amount the company will owe the designer will be determined next month. Perry had also sought to have the Katie Perry trademark withdrawn, but the judge denied that request.

The Katie Perry vs. Katy Perry debacle is just one of many court cases of late to involve well-known celebrities. There was the lawsuit against Gwyneth Paltrow over a skiing accident, in which she emerged victorious. There was also a legal win for Keanu Reeves, who sought and obtained a restraining order against a homeless man who had tried to break into his house.

katy perry

Katy Perry certainly was not facing charges as severe as those brought against Alec Baldwin in the Rust legal battle over the death of a cinematographer on his set, but the trial has nonetheless had an impact. For her part, Taylor describes at some length the emotional toll the case has taken on her. She refers in her blog post to feeling “bullied” and “trolled” over the case and puts her legal victory in Biblical terms, calling it a win for a David over a Goliath.

Whatever Katy Perry and her Kitty Purry company might have done wrong in this case, it’s easy to see how the infringement happened, given that Perry’s tour merchandise is practically guaranteed to carry her stage name. That leaves open the question not only of the monetary compensation that will be awarded to Taylor but how Perry will move forward with future tours in Australia. How will she be expected to sell tour merchandise without her own name on it?

We doubt she will go by a symbol and become The Artist Formerly Known as Katy Perry, but it will be interesting to see what happens next.