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[author: Martha Engel]
Celebrity blogs and music magazines were abuzz with the news that Jay-Z and Beyonce “lost their bid” to trademark their daughter’s name BLUE IVY. “Jay-Z and Beyonce Can’t Trademark BLUE IVY.” “Jay-Z and Beyonce Lose Right to Trademark BLUE IVY.” Hold your horses, single ladies, you might want to check on it. They got about 99 goods and services in their application for BLUE IVY CARTER, but event planning ain’t one.
While it’s true that an event planning company named Blue Ivy Events was granted a trademark registration for BLUE IVY first, the registration covers only the following services:
Meanwhile, the BLUE IVY CARTER application has a plethora of goods and services – including beauty products, toys, baby products, electronic devices, online retail store services, and entertainment services – and will be published for opposition soon. The only tweaks made to the BLUE IVY CARTER application in view of BLUE IVY were to eliminate jewelry and apparel from the application and to narrow the scope of the online retail store services and entertainment services claimed to differentiate it from the registered services of another BLUE IVY registration for “retail store services featuring clothing, jewelry, home and clothing accessories, and giftware” owned by Blue Ivy LLC of Sturgeon Bay, WI.
A couple things stood out to me from the BLUE IVY application. First, the owner of Blue Ivy Events filed it after the BLUE IVY CARTER application was filed. So it’s good to be aware that it’s never too late to file a trademark application – you might even get some press for it. In addition, the BLUE IVY application filing stunningly included the following as a specimen:
The specimen includes a picture of the happy couple and the tagline “Where Platinum Events Are Born” – voluntarily drawing a little too close of a connection between the two marks before the Trademark Office.
We’ve blogged about Jay-Z and Beyonce filing this before and the brand value in a celebrity baby’s name. I did a pretty cursory search of the Trademark Office’s records, and I was unable to find any other trademark filings for celebrity baby names in the aftermath of the BLUE IVY CARTER filing (at least with respect to children’s apparel). So even in the age of Kardashian and Snooki offspring, this (thankfully) doesn’t seem to be a trend – yet. Celebrity children increasingly have value these days as they get more and more attention, and even some parody usage like Suri’s Burn Book.
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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.
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