28 October 2011

GooGoo GaGa

The intended release of the tune, ‘The Moshi Song’ by Mind Candy, the company behind the Moshi Monsters children’s social networking site has resulted in Mr Justice Vos agreeing to grant Lady GaGa an interim injunction preventing the...

“promoting, advertising, selling, distributing or otherwise making available to the public The Moshi Dance or any musical work or video that purports to be performed by a character by the name of Lady Goo Goo, or that otherwise uses the name Lady Goo Goo or any variant thereon.”

Having due regard to the status quo and the merits of each case Mr Justice Vos decided that the balance of convenience lay in favour of allowing the use of the Lady Goo Goo character and song in a children's computer game, but not its promotion on YouTube or sale via iTunes. It was argued elements of the song parodied Lady GaGa’s hit ‘Bad Romance’ and Counsel for Lady GaGa contended that Mind Candy had infringed her trade mark as some children had already been confused into wondering if there was a connection between the two. The Judge did not go as far as preventing Mind Candy from using the Lady Goo Goo character in Moshi Monsters.

Readers may be surprised to hear that actual confusion has arisen between Lady GaGa and Lady Goo Goo, as the music is targeted at entirely different audiences and one party is clearly a cartoon character. However Lady GaGa’s recent appearance on a US chat show where she performed in a comedy sketch ‘promoting’ a line of baby clothes called ‘GaGa Goo Goo’ may have something to do with it!

It will be interesting to see if this ruling has any impact on the use of tribute band names generally which often parody the names of the original acts. Mind Candy may now be wondering whether the pop acts that are the inspiration for some of their other characters such as Dustbin Beaver and Broccoli Spears, may be considering similar action.

Need advice concerning your Trade Mark portfolio or protecting your brands?

Nucleus IP has been protecting clients' Intellectual Property rights worldwide since 1886.

For information and advice relating to Trade Marks, Design Rights, Copyright and Domain Names contact Nucleus IP Ltd.

info@nucleus-ip.com