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Kellogg’s fights tennis ace over Special K

Special K KelloggA legal stoush over the rights of Australian tennis star Thanasi Kokkinakis to use his Special K nickname commercially is heading for mediation.

Breakfast cereal giant Kellogg’s, which owns the right to the Special K trademark in Australia, has launched Federal Court action to prevent the 21-year-old using Special K as part of any branding campaign.

“The hearing this morning has finished and the court has made procedural directions. Kellogg will continue to defend our very strong and iconic Special K brand – which is known and loved by many Australians,” Kellogg has commented to Inside FMCG.

The parties came before the court in Adelaide on Thursday with Justice Brigitte Markovic sending the case to a mediation conference in August. She also allowed Kellogg’s extra time to amend its statement of claim and for Kokkinakis to file a defence.

If the matter goes to trial, it remains to be determined where it will be heard, with Kellogg’s asking for it to be listed in Sydney and counsel for Kokkinakis preferring Adelaide. The case will return to the Federal Court in Adelaide on August 31.

The action by Kellogg’s is actually filed against TJ Kokkinakis Pty Ltd, believed to be a company controlled by the tennis star’s father. Kokkinakis and fellow Aussie Nick Kyrgios, who play doubles together, are often referred to in the media as the Special Ks.

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