At Jamieson Law, we’re *kind of* obsessed with celebrity trademark battles and dramas. We know, it’s a bit sad, it’s the trademark geek inside of us all coming out!
Let’s chat about an interesting one involving a celebrity icon.
So Beyoncé of course had her daughter ‘Blue Ivy Carter’ back in 2012. As we know, Beyoncé is pretty iconic worldwide, she’s created an empire for herself musically AND business speaking. She’s very in tune with personal branding and IP.
A few weeks after wee Blue Ivy was born, Mrs Carter filed to register ‘Blue Ivy Carter’ as a trademark.
There was one obstacle in the way however, she’d had opposition! Veronica Morales was said opposer. Morales is a wedding event planner, with a business called…you guessed it “Blue Ivy Events” that she’s been running since 2009.
The trademark was opposed because of the ‘likelihood of confusion’ with her registered Blue Ivy Events trademark. She also claimed that Bey had no intent to use the trademark in commerce (something US trademark law majorly frowns upon). Morales even went as far as to say that Beyoncé was ‘engaged in fraud’ by doing this! Yikes.
We give her kudos for standing her ground and going up against what I can imagine was a ruthless legal team. On face value it seems like she might have a point…she registered hers first, right?
Well, Beyoncé slammed back, stating that her opposition was “frivolous at best” because no consumer would likely believe Morales’ boutique business was related to the Blue Ivy Carter mark.
Now, this absolutely was not a short, simple and to the point case. In fact, this went back and forward for literally years. The decision was only made in 2020, when the US Trademark Appeal Board rejected Morale’s arguments. It was found that Morales had given no evidence to suggest the two services were related in any way, shape or form that would make it seem as though they were from the same source…she was accused of “throwing arguments against a wall, hoping something would stick”.
What a drama llama, ay?! What you need to think about here is the COST that this case will have accrued…I’ll tell you one thing, it won’t have been cheap.
The moral of the story is – do your research!!
P.S. If you want to follow Beyoncé’s steps and register your own trademark, take a look at our ‘Time to Trademark: DIY’ training programme that teaches you exactly how to register your own UK trademark.
Make your brand ICONIC.
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