The opposition of American food manufacturer The Kellogg Company against the ‘Special K’ trademark filing of Australian tennis player Thanasi Kokkinakis had its first court hearing in Australia last week. The opposition was filed against TJ Kokkinakis Pty Ltd, a company run by the tennis player’s father.
TJ Kokkinakis Pty Ltd filed its Special K trademark registration in Australia in April 2015 in several classes, including clothing, racquet sports equipment, and sports competitions. According to World Intellectual Property Review, Kokkinakis and his former doubles partner, Nick Kyrgios, were often referred to as “the Special Ks” by the press.
According to news.com.au, in last week’s hearing, the judge allowed more time for Kellogg’s to “amend its statement of claim and for Kokkinakis to file a defence.” The judge also ordered the dispute referred for mediation before August 18.
On its Australian Twitter page, Kellogg’s said: “Special K is one of our most iconic global brands and we're seeking to defend our rights to the 50-year-old trademark.”
Kokkinakis recently lost in the first round of the French Open to 9th-ranked Kei Nishikori. According to Tennis Australia, although he’s “currently unranked,” Kokkinakis “has entered Wimbledon using his protected ranking of No. 81.” The Championships, Wimbledon begins on July 3.