We all make mistakes, even celebrities. This blog illustrates what can happen if you fail to realise on time that you have left important property unprotected, namely your intellectual property rights. Travis Scott knows all about this. Although his name was registered in the United States, his fame extends far beyond its borders.
A Chinese party thought that they could take advantage of this omission and registered the trademark TRAVIS SCOTT in the European Union for clothing. As far as trademarks are concerned, it’s first come, first served. There is, however, an exception to this rule: if you know that someone else is entitled to a name, registering to use it can be regarded as acting in bad faith. This is the argument put forward by Travis Scott in legal proceedings.
However, proving his point was anything but simple. First of all, Travis Scott had to prove his fame by submitting a host of evidence. According to the European Trademarks Office, the fact alone that a trademark is identical to the name of a celebrity is not sufficient proof of bad faith. There would have to have been a dishonest act on the part of the applicant. Fortunately for Travis Scott, it was possible to prove this, as the Chinese party was selling clothing bearing Travis Scott song lyrics under this name. The cancellation action was therefore successful.
So, although it is possible to get out of such a situation, it is much easier to simply register your trademark on time. Look after your intellectual property rights and be sure that you know how to protect them.