Blue Ivy Trademark Rumors Spread like Poison Ivy

Posted by | October 25, 2012 | General | One Comment

Image from Greater Maryland Better Business Bureau

For the past 3 days my in-box has been lighting up at a blistering pace with news alerts about every trademark attorney’s favorite celebrity infant — Blue Ivy Carter (whose mere existence somehow warrants a section on Huffington Post). According to the headlines, the brown eyed babe’s celebrity parents –Beyonce and Jay-Z — “lost” their fight to protect BLUE IVY . . .  as a federally registered trademark that is.

The BLUE IVY trademark saga began back in January, 2012 when Joseph Mbeh’s application to register BLUE IVY CARTER NYC was filed, examined and abandoned all before the baby is 3 weeks old! I first wrote about the trademark tale on January 19, 2012 (here) and covered it again on February 10, 2012 (here) and on February 12, 2012 (here).

To understand what’s happening now, we first we must travel back in time before Blue Ivy Carter was conceived — literally, if not figuratively.

On January 16, 2011, a Wisconsin company named Blue Ivy, LLC made the fortuitous decision to file an application to federally register its  BLUE IVY service mark with the USPTO for “retail store services featuring clothing, jewelry, home and clothing accessories, and giftware” to protect the store name it had been using since July 1, 2000. This BLUE IVY mark became federally registered on August 23, 2011, guaranteeing the Wisconsiners exclusive nationwide rights to use BLUE IVY in connection with retail stores (as described above) and related goods and services, e.g., clothing, home accessories & giftware, which — like Blue Ivy — also has its own news site, if you can believe it!

On January 7, 2012, Beyonce birthed Blue Ivy Carter. On January 11, Mbeh birthed his application and from there Blue Ivy spread . . .

Blue Ivy Carter TMs

9 months after the Blue Ivy’s birth, the media reported that the brand her parents planned for her miscarried:

Beyonce loses trademark application

Beyoncé and Jay-Z Lose Trademark Battle for Blue Ivy but Get Good Advice From President Obama

The U.S. Patent Office Dared to Deny Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s Trademark Application

Jay-Z and Beyonce Trademark Application for the Name “Blue Ivy” was Rejected

Beyoncé’s ‘Blue Ivy’ trademark application still alive but moving slowly

Beyonce can’t trademark daughter Blue Ivy’s name

Beyonce loses trademark application

Sharing ‘Blue Ivy’ with Beyoncé and Jay-Z

Blue Ivy Trademark: Beyonce, Jay-Z Lose Trademark Battle To Boston-Based Company 

While the media seems to operate in a parallel reality, I am not sure how they screwed this one up so badly. Not only is Beyonce’s application still alive, it was actually approved for Publication today and will be Published for Opposition in the next couple months, at which time anyone who believes they would be damaged by registration of the mark, e.g., Blue Ivy, LLC of Wisconsin) may Oppose it.

85% of trademark applications are initially rejected. An initial refusal is not unusual, not fatal to the application and not news. Unless of course, you are Blue Ivy.

About Lara

Lara Pearson is a trademark attorney with Exemplar, where she also serves as the firm's Sustainability Steward. Lara's legal practice focuses on trademark and copyright law, including: intellectual property audits; trademark search & clearance; trademark and copyright registration & maintenance; intellectual property transfers; transactional work; and dispute resolution, including litigation when necessary. Lara primarily represents other social enterprises -- those leveraging their businesses and brands as catalysts for positive social and environmental change. Such businesses engage in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) to have a positive "triple bottom line" of people, planet and profit. As Exemplar's Sustainability Steward, Lara works with others in her law firm to measure and reduce the firm's carbon emissions and encourage engagement in social responsibility initiatives, including pro bono legal work and volunteering. Lara is a proud member of the Social Venture Network. Brand Geek is a member of 1% for the Planet and a Certified B Corporation, whose Incline Village office is certified under the regional Keep the Sierra Green program. Exemplar Companies is the most innovative professional services firm in the New Economy. Our unique, diversified expertise spans the disciplines of corporate law, business advisory, and capital/investment banking to better meet the needs of our high-potential customers. We have assembled a comprehensive suite of service to meet the complex issues facing companies in today’s challenging business environment. Our unique, holistic approach ensures the growth and success – and greatly increases the competitive advantage - of our customers. The Exemplar team is comprised of knowledgeable, highly skilled experts in a wide range of industries and disciplines. They work closely with our customers to provide trusted advice, incomparable support, expert guidance and the ultimate competitive advantage as they accelerate their businesses and position themselves to transform industries.

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