WHAT’S IN A NAME?
other public forums.
This dispute raises two interesting questions in the context of South African law and we will discuss the first, with the second being answered in next month’s edition.
First, can you register a person’s name as a trademark? And, second, what if the Kylie dispute had to come before the South African courts?
In considering the first question, it is universally accepted that the function of a trademark is to distinguish the goods or services of one person from the same or similar goods or services offered by another person. It naturally follows then, that to qualify for registration, a trademark must be distinctive in relation to the goods or services in question.
Simply put, the trademark cannot consist purely of descriptive or common terms or terms that are deemed