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WATCH Real Tammy Taylor says Peet and Melany Viljoen stole her identity



This is just the latest shot over the bow in a fight about who owns the brand name in South Africa: Tammy Taylor or the Viljoens.

The real Tammy Taylor says Peet and Melany Viljoen stole her identity for their business Tammy Taylor Nails that they operate in South Africa and accuses them of even stalking her.

According to her website, Tammy Taylor revolutionised the nail and beauty industry since 1983. On Wednesday she placed a video on her Instagram account of her accusing the Viljoens of even forging her signature on illegal documents.

Watch Tammy Taylor speaking about the Viljoens:

In the video she says they are illegally using her name to sell franchises, counterfeiting and selling her products, as well as using her logos and trademarks on all their social media platforms. “I have been threatened. I have been harassed and now I’m being stalked by Melany and Peet Viljoen. I will not be a victim of Melanie and Peet Viljoen. I will not be abused anymore. I will speak out.”

The Viljoens did not respond to a request for comment on the video, but Peet Viljoen told Netwerk24 on Thursday that it is not true that they stole Taylor’s identity. He said they had an existing agreement with Taylor that they would distribute her products in Australia, the Middle East and on the African continent.

“We always had a good relationship with Taylor, but things turned sour recently when she saw how big we got. She is scared that we will take over the industry in the US. According to the agreement we were the only people allowed to distribute her product.

“Over time we started to also sell other products, such as face cream,. When she saw how big we were getting, she suddenly wanted to share in the profits, but this was not part of the agreement. When I did not say ‘yes’, she said she will not send me any more products.”

ALSO READ: Tammy Taylor Nails told to stop using name as US company launches ‘brutal takeover’

Viljoen says Taylor is trying to strangle them

He added that people told Taylor that they were making hundreds of millions of rands and then she wanted to have them audited. Viljoen said he then gave her a share of the profit, but that was not enough and Taylor wanted to keep on cutting into their income.

“She is trying to strangle us. She tries to get our franchises to go with her by contacting the owners herself and telling them that they can buy the products directly from her,” he told Netwerk24.

He also denied that he and Mel are contravening the Trade Names Act and says it is Taylor who is contravening it. He also said that they do not get their products from Taylor anymore, but that some of their products are now produced in the same laboratories in the US and that they have improved on many of her recipes.

Viljoen also told Netwerk24 that Taylor must prove that they are threatening, harassing and following her. “Mel went to her office in California last week to find out how she is but she was not there. There was no hidden agenda.”

He believes Taylor’s latest reaction is due to the fact that his wife will be part of Real Housewives of Hollywood and that she is scared that Mel will say something bad about her.

ALSO READ: How to prevent your trademark from becoming the victim of ‘genericide’

Allegations of a ‘brutal takeover’

In September last year Melany accused Taylor of intending a “brutal takeover of the empire Melany Viljoen built” in a statement after The Citizen asked her to comment on letters from Tammy Taylor USA’s lawyer, James McQueen, instructing her to cease and desist from using the Tammy Taylor name as she is no longer a licensee or distributor of products.

In an email, McQueen stated that, as a result of the termination of the relationship between the parties, Viljoen no longer has a right to use the trademarks as part of her business name or domain name or to otherwise suggest that she is still affiliated with or endorsed by Tammy Taylor Inc. He also claimed she is infringing on the Tammy Taylor trademarks.

Viljoen said in her statement that Tammy Rae Taylor and her family, who she refers to as “The Americans” failed to explain the meaning of the word “manufacture”. “One cannot license something you do not manufacture or did not invent. Melany Viljoen in South Africa developed the concept of the Tammy Taylor franchise. There is no similar salon concept or namesake in the rest of the world,” she said.

‘The Americans cannot take Tammy Taylor away’

“There seems to be confusion among some reporters that Tammy Taylor is an American franchise group and that the Americans can take it away from South Africa. This is not the case. The company is owned by Melany Viljoen who first registered the company name at the company registration office (CIPC) and later followed this up with registering the trademark,” Viljoen said.

Viljoen indicated that only the trademark is in dispute and this has no effect on the business model. “Melany Viljoen and the Americans reached an agreement that in the event of rebranding her empire to Melany’s, there is a condition that the Americans contribute $1 million to rebrand. The Americans seem to have cash flow issues or memory loss.”

Viljoen claimed that the trademark will remain her property until a South African court rules otherwise. She said she has been buying products in bulk directly from the source for the past three years and that she has enough products to supply the franchisees for at least ten years.

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