Sex, six and sucks in the city

A Queensland business owner has successfully rebuffed a legal challenge from the owner of the TV show Sex and the City over her right to use the name Six in the City for her business.

A Queensland business owner has successfully rebuffed a legal challenge from the owner of the TV show Sex and the City over her right to use the name Six in the City for her business.

Susan Rae had plans for a chain of franchises when she founded the business, which involves organising dinner parties for six singles over 30, The Australian Financial Review reports.

But she struck a hurdle when Home Box Office, the giant US TV network, lodged an objection when she tried to register Six in the City as a business name with the Trade Marks Office.

But Rae refused to back down, and, lucky for her, the matter was heard by a Trade Marks Office registrar with sufficient pop culture savvy to be able to effectively deal with the matter.

Registrar Terry Williams explained Sex and the City was about the “relationships of a group of girlfriends and their various dates” and, in a not clearly terribly successful attempt at tact, that “the women in question are portrayed as heterosexual and not celibate”.

In finding for Rae, Williams said while Sex and the City is “apparently popular”, it is nowhere near as ubiquitous as a program like The Simpsons.

There was one other serious concern – wasn’t there the potential for New Zealanders (with their famous inclination to pronounce the word “six” so it sounds closer to “sex” to non-Kiwi ears) to get the two names confused?

But Williams said the risk of Kiwi confusion was only slight. “It is quite possible that the casual observer, perhaps viewing an advertisement on the side of a passing bus, might misread one trade mark as another. However, leaving aside the slight risk of confusion involving the well-known tendency for New Zealanders to pronounce six in a way that resembles sex, no realistic likelihood of actual mistake, or of confusion, exists.”

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