US pop star Katy Perry has lost a court battle with an Australian fashion designer called Katie Perry, who had sued the singer, alleging her merchandise infringed a trademark owned by the designer.
An Australian court has ruled that Katy Perry has infringed the trademark of a Sydney-based fashion designer.
The designer in question, Katie Taylor - who sells clothes under her birth name Katie Perry - sued the US pop star, saying her merchandise infringed a trademark owned by Taylor.
On Friday 28 April, a judge agreed that clothing sold at Katy Perry's 2014 Australian tour did in fact breach Katie Taylor’s trademark. However, Justice Brigitte Markovic rejected further claims brought by Taylor relating to another tour in 2018 and sales in certain stores and websites.
Katie Taylor, who initially filed the lawsuit in 2019, had alleged that the singer ignored the trademark and sold Katy Perry clothing to Australian customers during her tours in the country and through retailers and websites.
Taylor heralded the verdict as a "David and Goliath" win for small businesses, writing on her website: “Not only have I fought myself, but I fought for small businesses in this country, many of them started by women, who can find themselves up against overseas entities who have much more financial power than we do”.
While Justice Markovic agreed that Katy Perry's company Kitty Purry partially infringed the trademark of Taylor's business, by promoting the singer's products through social media posts, she said the pop star used the ‘Katy Perry’ name in "good faith". The ‘I Kissed A Girl’ and 'Teenage Dream' hitmaker won’t have to pay any personal compensation to the designer - but her company Kitty Purry must pay damages. The amount is to be decided next month.
The judge also dismissed a bid by the songstress seeking to cancel the ‘Katie Perry’ trademark, adding to a long list of disputes between the American singer and the Australian designer.
The battle between the pair started 15 years ago, in 2008, when Taylor registered the ‘Katie Perry’ brand in Australia. Singer Katy Perry, born Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, tried to block the registration and engaged lawyers to try to stop the designer using the trademark, but later abandoned the attempt.
Summing up, Justice Brigitte Markovic wrote: "This is a tale of two women, two teenage dreams and one name".