Singer's cancellation action hits the right note


In a decision issued on October 16 2006 the Kiev Economic Court has cancelled a device mark registered for pasta products in Class 30 of the Nice Classification and comprising of the name Taya and an image of famous Ukrainian singer Taisiya Povaliy who performs under the name Taya.

According to the Law of Ukraine on Rights in Marks for Goods and Services a designation cannot be registered as a trademark if it reproduces the name, surname, pseudonym or portrait of a person who is famous in Ukraine without the consent of such person. Based on this provision Povaliy filed a cancellation claim against the device mark as she had not given her consent for use of her image or stage name.

The court noted that the name Taya, which it felt occupies a dominating position in the mark in question, is the short name for Taisiya. It also confirmed that Povaliy (i) has been famous in Ukraine since 1993; and (ii) uses her short name Taya in her activities. Consequently, consumers would associate products sold under a TAYA trademark with Povaliy, moreover such associations would adversely affect their attitude to the singer.

Taking into consideration evidence of Povaliy's successful singing career, the court concluded that the registration unfairly took advantage of the repute of the singer and ordered the cancellation of the TAYA mark.

Julia Semeniy, Konnov & Sozanovsky, Kiev

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