Last week was the end of one of the biggest battle of my business career, The “David and Goliath case” - legal action against the singer, Katy Perry, for infringing my Katie Perry trade mark in Australia – which I’ve held since 29th September 2008.
You may remember that 12 years ago there was an unfair attempt to shut me down by the US singer. It failed and the opposition to my trade mark was withdrawn.
But while the singer eventually gave up trying to get a hold of my Australian trade mark rights, she instead chose to simply disregard them. Singer, Katy Perry clothing and other infringing articles have been sold in Target, Myer and online across a variety of sites. The singer has continued to ignore my trade mark and continues to sell infringing goods unlawfully in Australia.
When this all started back in 2009, I had been designing and manufacturing clothes in Australia under the name I was born with, Katie Perry, for which I requested to trade mark might my business – a logical next step. I had no knowledge of the singer at the time.
Imagine my surprise when one of the reactions I received was a letter from lawyers representing the US singer, Katie Perry. They stated that I should immediately stop trading under this name, withdraw all my clothes and sign a document drafted by them to say from now on I will never trade under this name ever again.
A true case of David vs Goliath! I felt bullied, insulted and surprised.
Naturally, I decided to fight against this injustice. I established my fashion label almost 16 years ago to meet the growing need for women’s wear that mixes comfort with luxurious style. I was really busy working hard to establish my brand. You could say I was a real Aussie battler.
As a mother of two young children, I do not have the financial resources to take on the singer by continuing expensive legal proceedings. It is only through the support of LCM (Litigation Capital Management Limited), a global litigation funder, that I have been able to continue this action.
I am fighting for all small businesses in this country, many of them started by women, who can find themselves up against overseas entities who have much more financial power than we do.
Last year I withstood a brutal cross examination in federal court.
Over the past two years I have been bullied and trolled. My friends and family have been trolled.
I have had withstand hearing disparaging comments be made about me as I sit in court with tears in my eyes.
And yet though it all I kept ask myself one question “ Knowing the horrific way I have been treated , would I still stand up for myself?” and the answer has always been YES.
I am standing up because small business matters, Australian Laws matter and most importantly in the face of a bully it is important to stand up for yourself.
I want my two young children to grow up standing up for their values no matter how hard it is.
I believe that everyone matters no matter how big or small their business is.
I am hoping for a final victory for the little guy but now it is over the the judge.