Cease and desist using KIIS name
Wednesday 18 December, 2013
Kiss off ARN...
says Melbourne dance music narrowcaster Kiss.
The station has launched a campaign to raise funds for a legal fight to challenge the Australian Radio Network for trade mark breaches and 'passing off' a name that it has used for the past eight years.
As predicted by radioinfo in our first report about KIIS, ARN had some hurdles to jump about trade marks. radioinfo understands that ARN was notified about the potential trade mark infringement by Kiss station manager Tim Byrne on 27 November and ignored the station's initial approach.
Byrne has told radioinfo: “In a David and Goliath battle or scenario akin to 'the vibe' in the iconic Australian film The Castle, Kiss FM Dance Music Australia is being forced to defend its rights to exclusively use on an unrestricted basis its Kiss FM name in Australia." He says they are acting like bullies.
Perhaps eyeing a cash windfall out of its legal action, the little suburban Melbourne narrowcaster is taking on the national commercial network.
Whether its trade mark, which is only based in one state and which was officially registered only days before ARN registered KIIS, will stand up against a high powered station, based in Sydney and not heard in suburban Melbourne, remains to be seen.
Kiss FM obviously believes it does have a case, and so do its lawyers. Studio Legal has today sent a letter to ARN saying:
The letter alleges that ARN has conducted "misleading and deceptive conduct" and "passing off."
The station asserts that clients who might see the KIIS name could confuse it with the narrowcaster's Kiss brand and be misled into thinking "your business and our clients’ KISS Business and Goods or Services are in some way associated with, or connected to one another or are one and the same, which they are not; [or] your business has been licensed by our clients’ to use the word “KIIS”, “KISS”, “KIIS FM” or “KISS FM”, which it has not."
The legal letter says Kiss has a "substantial and widespread reputation and goodwill in the KISS Brand throughout Australia in connection with its Goods and Services and that ARN's proposed use of the KIIS word variations "could also constitute the tort of passing off as people who would view the KIIS / KISS Rebrand would be confused or could be confused into thinking that your goods and/or services, are in some way associated with or connected to the KISS Business or its Goods and Services."
The legal letter says:
On its website, Kiss is asking its supporters to sign a petition and contribute money to fund the legal fight.
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