What’s in a brand name? Quite a lot it would seem when it comes to trying to use the name as a brand name. What must have seemed like a good move at first, for young Australian tennis player Thanasis Kokkinakis, to use his own nickname ‘Special K’ as a brand name to market a range of tennis wear and clothing, has hit a legal snag and ended up in the Federal court.
US based multinational Food Giant Kellogs has launched legal action to prevent Kokkinakis using the Special K name, as it holds the rights to the Special K trademark in Australia which it uses to market its breakfast cereal for the diet conscious.
A spokeswoman for the company said “Special K is obviously an iconic cereal brand for Kellogg’s in Australia and a favourite breakfast cereal of Australia,”
Kokkinakis, along with fellow Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios, had acquired the nick name Special Ks from elements of the Australian media.
The matter came before Federal Court judge Brigitte Markovic in Adelaide on Thursday and she has given the parties the opportunity to reach mediation, by sending the matter to a mediation hearing in late August. If they cannot reach mediation, the matter will proceed to trial at a later date.
Kokkinakis, is making a return to the ATP tour after struggling with long term injury. At one stage he was ranked 65 on the ATP tour but is currently unranked. Last month, he returned to Grand Slam action for the first time since the US Open in 2015 when he competed in the French Open losing his first round match in four sets.