Using a single (and not unusual) name can cause you some serious headaches. Well, that is if you are trying to grow a global business empire with it.
Kylie Jenner was disappointed to find out that her well-known “Kylie” brand was not in fact hers at all, legally speaking. Another Kylie, the one-and-only pop princess Kylie Minogue, successfully opposed Jenner’s “Kylie” brand name.
Jenner applied to have the name Kylie registered as a trade mark in the US. If successful, Jenner would have exclusive rights to use the Kylie brand in her businesses, including her booming cosmetic lines Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Lip Kits. These businesses have been met with outstanding success, selling ‘Kyliners’ and ‘Kyshadows’ to customers who want to imitate Jenner’s appearance.
However, another Kylie is not happy and Minogue objected to Jenner’s trade mark. Minogue had already registered the Kylie trade mark for her own globally-established Kylie empire. Minogue’s prior registration gives her the exclusive right to use Kylie in relation to her businesses, which includes cosmetics, jewellery and entertainment.
The two women can’t easily share the Kylie brand since their businesses are in similar fields, which could cause consumers to confuse the two Kylies. And, why would they want to? Sharing could undermine the brands they have both worked so hard to build.
At the end of the day, Minogue was first to the mark (she was the original Kylie so to speak), which gives her ‘first in, first served’ rights in their shared name. Tough luck for Kylie number 2, but it shows that even celebrities need to do some brand research before trying to build a multi-million-dollar empire.
But it's more than that. Since the 1980s, Kylie Minogue has never had to go by any other name but Kylie, and her team has argued it's a fundamental part of the pop diva's identity.