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Bad Romance Between Lady Gaga and Lady Goo Goo?

The English High Court has granted Lady Gaga an interim injunction against Mind Candy, the owner of children’s animated character and Lady GaGa parody, Lady Goo Goo. The injunction is to prevent the commercial release of a song by Lady Goo Goo pending a full trial for alleged infringement of the Lady GaGa trademark.  

Lady Goo Goo is a character in the children’s networking site, Moshi Monsters, and is just one of 52 pet monsters that can be adopted. Other pet monsters include “Dustbin Beaver” and “Broccoli Spears”. Lady Goo Goo’s songs appear on YouTube, including the song “Peppy-razzi”, a parody of Lady GaGa’s hit “Paparazzi”. The emergency proceedings were commenced to prevent the commercial release of the “Moshi Dance Song”, which is said to be similar to another of Lady GaGa’s hits, “Bad Romance”.

The Court first considered the law as currently applied to parodies and, on the facts, was satisfied that the case was one of trademark infringement. The Court found that it was arguable that a connection could be made between Lady GaGa and Lady Goo Goo which could lead to some consumers being confused and assuming a commercial connection between the two. The Court also noted that whilst Mind Candy had spent a considerable sum on producing and publicising the song, Lady GaGa’s brand could suffer immense damage were it to be released.

However it held that it can continue to use the Lady Goo Goo character within the confines of the Moshi Monster’s game until it is decided whether or not the use of the name ‘Lady Goo Goo’ infringes the Lady GaGa trademark.

The outcome of this trademark infringement case will be keenly watched. If Lady GaGa is successful it may mean that registered trademarks can be used to stop the release of tribute bands or parody songs or to prevent characters using similar names to original acts.

Contributed by Brian McElligott.

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