Designer Katie Perry 'lied' over pop star

An Australian fashion designer has denied lying about Katy Perry selling clothes under that name.
An Australian fashion designer has denied lying about Katy Perry selling clothes under that name.

An Australian fashion designer named Katie Perry used trademark and legal disputes with her mega-famous namesake to promote her business and sell more clothes, a court has been told.

But online postings regarding her legal stoush with Katy Perry were about "standing up to bullies," Sydney-based designer Katie Jane Taylor - nee Katie Perry - said in evidence on Tuesday in the Federal Court.

She is suing the American singer-songwriter for allegedly infringing on her trademark, while Perry is defending the case and has launched a cross-claim to have Ms Taylor's trademark cancelled.

Matthew Darke SC, representing Perry, pointed to a number of media interviews Ms Taylor had with A Current Affair, The Australian, and Who Magazine, among others.

These all reference her ongoing legal battle since 2009 when Perry's lawyers sent cease and desist letters to the designer, who told one reporter the litigation threats made her "burst into tears".

And when Perry toured Australia in August 2009, Ms Taylor tried to meet up with her for a reconciliation but was snubbed by the US-based pop star.

Mr Darke said she had carefully crafted a media strategy with a PR firm to garner publicity in association with the musician.

He pointed to one such email in which she wrote: "Thought you might be interested to see your star client is in the press again !!!"

She then told a journalist she had wanted to meet Perry "to wish her every success and here are my clothes," despite writing in court documents she would never give away her clothes for free.

"You lied throughout that affidavit where it serves your interest to do so," Mr Darke said.

Ms Taylor denied this and maintained she was unaware the singer was selling clothing merchandise in Australia in 2009, thinking she was only out for her trademark to strengthen her brand for the future.

Mr Darke accused her of being "absolutely and utterly dishonest ... to explain the inordinate delay in commencing these proceedings" over a decade later.

In one November 2019 interview Ms Taylor says: "For the last 10 years I've had to watch her infringe on my trademark".

And back on January 29 2009, she posted a YouTube video address to the singer.

"I'm absolutely no threat whatsoever to you ... you're a girl who has a dream just like myself. I wish you all the success but leave me to carry on my dream."

"Your position was that you were happy for her to use the trademark as she pleased," Mr Darke said, adding she must have known music celebrities often started clothing lines.

Ms Taylor said she believed the US-based pop star's dream was to sing, not sell clothing.

"Just like my dream since I was 11 was to have my own fashion label," she said.

She also denied gaining this knowledge through Facebook comments left on the "Support for Australian designer Katie Perry" page she created, with one specifically referencing Katy Perry had begun selling clothes via her website.

Ms Taylor continues to trade under her birth name, which she trademarked for clothing in 2008.

That's the same year the singer - legally known as Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson - shot to worldwide fame with her hit I Kissed A Girl.

With a stage name that combines her first name and her mother's maiden name, she has pleaded that she uses the Katy Perry name in good faith and the use on clothing is unlikely to deceive or cause confusion.

The hearing expected to last one week continues before Justice Brigitte Markovic.

Australian Associated Press