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Why did Katy Perry sue an Austrailian mother in court? Here’s what happened


Katy Perry, the renowned pop sensation, finds herself entangled in a legal battle that has been simmering for years. This high-profile case revolves around a dispute with Australian fashion designer Katie Perry, now known as Katie Taylor, over trademark infringement.

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Katty Perry reveals her backstory

The roots of this legal saga stretch back to 2009 when Katy Perry and her representatives initiated a cease-and-desist letter against the Australian-based brand, which had been operating under the name Katie Perry since 2007. The singer’s camp demanded that Katie Taylor, the owner of the brand, cease trading under her name, withdraw her clothing line, and sign a document relinquishing any rights to use the name in the future.

When Katie Taylor refused to comply with these demands, Katy Perry’s team allegedly chose to ignore her existence and her Australian trademark rights. They flooded chain stores across the country with Perry merchandise and other infringing products. Taylor, a mother of two, embarked on a legal battle with the support of Litigation Capital Management Limited (LCM), an Australian firm that helps fund legal disputes.

The legal drama unfolds

The legal proceedings were far from smooth sailing for Katie Taylor. She faced not only the singer’s legal prowess but also harassment from Katy Perry’s fans throughout the court hearings. In a particularly painful moment, Taylor was forced to read emails exchanged between the singer and her manager, where Perry derogatorily referred to the designer as a “dumb b–ch.”

Katy Perry’s manager later justified these comments as emotional reactions inherent in artists.

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The court rules in favor of Katie Taylor

After months of deliberation, the Australian Federal Court ruled in favor of Katie Taylor, characterizing it as a victory for small businesses. In a statement, Taylor expressed, Not only have I fought for myself, but I’ve fought for small businesses in this country, many of which are started by women and often find themselves at a disadvantage against overseas entities with greater financial resources.

Despite her initial legal triumph, Katy Perry’s legal team filed an appeal in the summer of 2023, extending the ordeal. Katie Taylor received the appeal notification at an unexpected moment, leaving her deeply unsettled. She lamented that she thought the case had an end in sight, but it continues to drag on.

Taylor emphasizes the importance of her label, which represents her future, her dream, and her livelihood. The ongoing legal battle now poses a risk to her trademark.

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Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.