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