July 9, 2021
As reported by Reuters, following an initial application in 2014, U.S. pop star, Miley Cyrus, has successfully registered her name as a trademark in Europe.
Cyrus’ company, Smiley Miley Inc. (“Smiley Miley”), sought to trademark the star’s name for, among other things, audio and video discs, mobile phone cases, e-books, electronic board games, and calendars, but the application was rejected by the EU Intellectual Property Office (“EUIPO”). Among the reasons cited by the EUIPO was the potential for confusion with the “CYRUS” mark, registered by British Virgin Islands-based Cyrus Trademarks Ltd., and that the name Miley Cyrus had no conceptual meaning.
After Smiley Miley lost its appeal of the EUIPO’s decision, it brought a further appeal to the Luxembourg-based EU Court of Justice. The Court overruled the EUIPO’s decision, stating that the mark “has a clear and specific semantic content for the relevant public given that it refers to a public figure of international reputation”.
Author: Sam Galway