In April 2023 the Federal Court of Australia published its decision in which I won the biggest battle of my business career, the “David and Goliath case” - my legal action against the singer, Katy Perry, and her companies, for infringing my Katie Perry trade mark in Australia – which I’ve held since 29th September 2008.
I resisted an attack on me and the trade mark.
We established infringement and the cross claim was dismissed. Then only a few weeks later, the singer appealed the verdict!
You may remember that in 2009 there was an 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 It failed and the opposition to my trade mark was withdrawn.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 prevent my Australian trade mark from being registered, once registered, she chose to simply disregard it. Singer Katy Perry clothing was sold to Australian customers during Katy Perry performance tours over here, and through retail channels, including via websites. The singer has continued to ignore my trade mark and one of her companies 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, which I applied to register as a trade mark for 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, Katy 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 that from then on I will never trade under this name ever again.
A true case of David vs Goliath! I felt bullied, insulted and surprised.
Instead of giving in, I decided to fight against this injustice. I established my fashion label for loungewear that focuses on sustainability and local production. 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, and having only a small business, I did not have the financial resources for expensive legal proceedings. With the support of LCM (Litigation Capital Management Limited), a global litigation funder, however, it became possible for me to take action against the singer and her companies.
I withstood a brutal cross examination in the Federal Court in 2021.
Over the past few years, including whilst battling it out in court, I have been bullied and trolled. My friends and family have been trolled.
I have had to bear hearing disparaging comments being made about me, by the singer, as I sat in court with tears in my eyes.
This was a win for small business. We matter, Australian laws matter and most importantly in the face of a bully it is important to stand up for yourself.
Now we head back to court in February 2024 to face the appeal court.
My two young children have witnessed the importance of standing up for their values no matter how hard it is. I had hoped to be able to put this all behind me in 2024 however that is not meant to be.
I will continue to not only fight for myself, but for all small businesses in this country. We all matter.