Is it possible to legally protect an idea?  The answer is: not really.

Intellectual property is intangible personal property.  There are four types of intellectual property that are protected by law:  patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets.  A separate set of laws governs each one.  Although ideas may be intangible personal property, ideas do not

Kylie Jenner has finally decided to step out from behind her Josh Escovedo 02_finalolder sisters and get to work on her own independent ventures. In furtherance of this desire, Ms. Jenner filed numerous federal trademark applications in April and November 2015. The applications relate to Ms. Jenner’s first name, as well as her full name. As you may know, a trademark provides its user the exclusive right to use the mark in connection with the class of goods in which the mark is registered. For example, the registration of KYLIE for fashion apparel, or handbags, would effectively preclude anyone from utilizing KYLIE in conjunction with that good without first obtaining Ms. Jenner’s permission. You can likely see why this might be a problem.

Ms. Jenner’s attorneys filed the applications in the international classes of goods that cover “All-purpose carrying bags; athletic bags; back packs; cosmetic bags; cosmetic carrying cases; duffle bags; handbags; purses and wallets; tote bags; umbrellas.” The other applications cover goods such as clothing, sleepwear, swimwear, and undergarments; jewelry; and fragrances. Although the registration for the mark KYLIE JENNER should not be too contentious, Ms. Jenner’s team of attorneys also filed two applications for the mark KYLIE for use in “Entertainment in the nature of providing information by means of a global network in the fields of entertainment and pop culture; entertainment services, namely, personal appearances by a celebrity, actress and model” and also “Providing information by means of a global computer network in the field of fashion.” The other KYLIE application covers “Advertising services, namely, promoting the brands, goods and services of other; endorsement service, namely promoting the goods and services of others.”


Continue Reading Kylie Minogue v. Kylie Jenner: A TTAB Clash of Celebrities