Cereal giant Kellogg’s is suing Australian tennis player Thanasi Kokkinakis over his attempt to trademark his nickname: “Special K”.
To protect its signature cereal brand, Kellogg’s has had an Australian trademark registration for Special K since 1955. Now, they want to use this registration to stop the athlete from using the name in an advertising campaign.
Kellogg’s is determined to: “defend the very strong and iconic Special K – which is known and loved by many Australians”. The question is, however, how strong its case is.
Kokkinakis filed a trademark application in Australia for, amongst others, ‘sportswear, tennis rackets, sports coaching and sports consultancy, while Kellogg’s’ registration covers ‘breakfast and other cereal foods’.
Kellogg’s will have to prove that the use of the name Special K by the tennis player, is detrimental to its reputation, which may prove to be quite hard.