4.3.11

Baby Gaga in battle with Lady Gaga: sublime meets ridiculous


Oh to be instructed on this case! - Pop ikon who is not averse to sporting a costume made up of processed cured meats is apparently outraged at London ice cream vendor for serving up a choice scoop of ice cream made out of breast milk. Mediabeak loves this and will happily act for either party for free.

What's ths issue:
The self-styled Lady Gaga is well known as a pop celebrity who masquerades behind various guises while delivering her varous tunes.

On the other side we have a small business entrpreneur who is making Haagen Dasz seem so 1980s and is taking the development of ice cream flavours to new limits by seeking breast milk donors (for a fee) to enable the production of breast milk ice cream.

There have been complaints about this concept and health and safety fears etc but in terms of a product - while not to everyone's taste - if it were produced in a safe and controlled way - then it should be no more objectionable than beluga caviar.

Lady Gaga does not like the idea of breast milk ice cream.

Why is Lady Gaga upset:
She perceives the name - Baby Gaga to be a play on her stage name Lady Gaga - and considers the novel product offering to trade off her name association and be detrimental to it. The fact the ice cream may have been served up by a waitress in a conical bra looking as whaky as Lady Gaga sometimes does may have contributed to her perception. BUT says shop owner Mr O'Connor - the outfit of his waiting staff is actually a take on the Madonna Gaultier outfit rather than a copy of a possible Lady Gaga outift.

What's the deal:
Lady Gaga claims that Baby Gaga is a word play on her name and associates to her name and as such the breast milk ice cream stunt - which she dislikes - maybe associated with her - she does not want the association but is she also seeking to claim that she owns anything with 'Gaga' in it?

Here's the real issue:
If Lady Gaga is seeking to protect and have control over the use of anyting with 'Gaga' in it then she needs to seek to register a trade mark for 'gaga' - and it is unlikely she would be able to do so. 'Goo Goo Ga Ga' is a sound combination that has for decades been associated with babies so to secure the right to use just 'Ga ga' would seem to be a long shot (which Lady Gaga has not as far as can be ascertained so far sought to do). SO Lady Gaga does not have monopoly or control over everything with 'Gaga' as a suffix.

Meanwhile the ice cream maker - the Icecreamists - say they are confident they will actually secure a trade mark for their unique type of ice cream.

Mediabeak sniffs the scent of lawyer in that Lady Gaga's legal claim accuses the Icecreamists of 'riding on the coat-tails' of Lady Gaga's fame - which in trade mark law is a clear reference to a key judgment in the case of L'Oreal v Bellure. That case dealt with unfair advantage which arises where there is a transfer of the image of the original (or protected) mark - in this case Lady Gaga (except she has not secured this as a mark) - or of the characteristics which it protects - TO the goods (the ices cream) related to the Icecreamsits 'Baby Gaga'.

Given that Lady Gaga does not have the legal ownership over which her lawyers are seeking to exercise rights this is unlikely to go much further. So the argument that her reputation as 'Lady Gaga' will transfer to 'Baby Gaga' is a long shot. So it is unlikely that a claim that Icecreamists have secured an unfair advantage over Lady Gaga is likely to succeed.

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