Katie Perry has been working for a couple of years as a high-end designer in Australia, and was about to open her first store. She decided to protect her trademark.
Trouble is, she got hit by a cease-and-desist from Katy Perry and EMI, afraid that the singer's fans are so stupid they might confuse an Australian clothes shop with an American pop singer and start dry-humping the hat display stand or something.
EMI try to make this "you can't use your own name to sell your stuff" intervention sound reasonable:
EMI said in a statement Thursday that a "routine notice letter was sent to Ms. Howell, as is customary in trademark practice, alerting her of Ms. Perry's intended application" for trademark protection down under.
You'd have thought that, with all the money EMI spend on lawyers, someone would know the difference between 'alerting' someone to something and sending a cease-and-desist. Otherwise, sheepish EMI staff must have awkward moments - "well, yes, Mother, you did ask me to alert Father that the coal cellar door was open - and, believe me, I was on my way to meet with a couple of guys from the legal department to draft a document forbidding him from falling down the hole and breaking his leg when... well, when he fell down the hole and broke his leg."