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Beyoncé, Jay-Z File Trademark Application for Daughter’s Name

Issued: March 01 2012

Beyoncé and Jay-Z have applied to register their daughter’s name, Blue Ivy Carter, as a trademark on an intent to use basis for 15 different categories of goods and services.

Blue Ivy, whose famous parents are more officially known as Beyoncé Giselle Knowles and Shawn Corey Carter, was born on January 7, 2012. The couple registered her name less than three weeks later on January 26. Blue Ivy’s newborn cries were included in Jay-Z’s new song “Glory,” which shot up the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop charts, making her the youngest performer ever to hit the charts, according to media reports.

According to Edward Rosenthal, a New York-based lawyer who chairs Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz’s intellectual property and litigation groups, the application was filed by BGK Trademark Holdings, an entity that has filed other applications for protection of trademarks that include the name Beyoncé and which presumably is owned or controlled by Beyoncé and/or Jay-Z. “Most of the goods and services listed in the application relate to children, but some, like ‘dance events by a recording artist’ suggest that Blue Ivy’s first appearance on the charts may not be her last,” Rosenthal wrote on the Frankfurt Kurnit law blog.

“Interestingly, the US Patent and Trademark Office already has acted on BGK’s application, a fact that is remarkable given that it usually takes about three months for an applicant to hear anything at all,” Rosenthal wrote.

He says the USPTO preliminarily has refused registration in two of the classes on the ground of a preexisting registration for the mark BLUE IVY owned by a Wisconsin company and used for retail store services featuring clothing, jewelry, home and clothing accessories, and giftware. This mark was registered in August 2011 based on alleged use dating back to 2000. The USPTO also noted that an application for the name BLUE IVY CARTER GLORY IV was filed prior to the application by BGK. This application was filed on January 20, 2012 (six days before the BGK application) in the cosmetics category by a New York entity called Benton Clothier.

“The USPTO also has preliminarily refused registration of both the BGK and the Benton Clothier application on the ground that the marks may suggest an association with the baby named Blue Ivy Carter, who is described by the USPTO as being ‘so famous that consumers would presume a connection’ between the mark and the person,” Rosenthal says. “It seems that the USPTO was not aware of the likely connection between BGK and Blue Ivy Carter.”

BGK may be able to overcome the preliminary objections of the USPTO, Rosenthal says. “The mere filing of an intent to use application does not necessarily mean that BGK will receive trademark registration for any or all of the categories for which it applied. But it does suggest something else that at least some parents awaiting the big day should consider when discussing possible names for the baby,” he says. “Along with thinking about the origins of potential names, cultural traditions, impact on relatives, positive and negative associations, whether you are setting up the kid for a lifetime of schoolyard teasing, etc, parents may now have to think about trademark availability.”


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