Leveraging the spawn
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Justinian in Celebrity, Humanity Headlines, Intellectual property, Trade marks

Celebrities and registering the names of their offspring as trade marks ... Beyoncé strikes trouble with licensing little Blue Ivy Carter's personal brand  ... Subeta Vimalarajah riffles through the trade marks register  

Jay-Z and Beyonce Knowles-Carter, heavy with Blue Ivy Carter

FORGET the break-up of Destiny's Child in 2006 - the most recent debacle in the life of singer-songwriter Beyoncé Knowles-Carter is a protective order she has sought for an upcoming trade mark hearing. 

The trade mark in question is in her daughter's name - BLUE IVY CARTER – and was filed with the US Patents and Trademarks Office earlier this year. This is take two for Beyoncé and her beau, Jay–Z, after an initial attempt to register the same trade mark in 2012. 

If successful, in light of the recent filings of the names of their twins' - SIR CARTER and RUMI CARTER - the whole family could sit cosily together on the USPTO register with the kind of monopoly rights that only a $1.16 billion combined net worth can buy.

The BLUE IVY CARTER application seeks to cover everything from hair care products to decorative magnets, motion pictures, high chairs for babies, fitted crib sheets, and golf balls. 

Unfortunately for Queen B, her modest request for the right to license her five-year old's personal brand has been undermined by the plans of small business owner Veronica Morales.

Morales opposed the BLUE IVY CARTER trade mark application on the basis it is too similar to BLUE IVY, the trade mark Morales has registered for her event management company.

Beyoncé's legal team are calling on Morales to show compassion for the plight of the 22 Grammy Award winning star and her fame-fated offspring. 

In a heartfelt statement, Beyoncé's lawyers expressed their interest in “protecting Mrs. Carter’s privacy and safety” through the protective order, which could keep the date, time and location of her deposition confidential. 

It's not an entirely unusual request in a country that has passed a Celebrities Rights Act, but a far cry from the usual battles fought at the Australian Trade Marks Office. 

That's not to say the Australian Trade Marks Register has not played host to some famous names. Australia's sweetheart, Kylie, has various registrations protecting her personal brand. She sits alongside foreign royalty, with various Kardashian trade marks registered under the company name "Kimsaprincess, Inc." 

Kylie Jenner: ran into trade mark trouble with Our Kylie

Generally though, the Australian trade marks office has less time for the rich and famous. Or perhaps, the rich and famous have less time for it.  

Even our greats, like Kylie, have fought their controversial trade mark battles before the USPTO. Earlier this year, Kylie made headlines for successfully opposing the trade mark application of Kylie Jenner - the youngest of the Kardashian clan. The claws were out, as Our Kylie dubbed that applicant a "secondary reality television personality". 

One hopes that the practice of registering trade mark rights in children's names might act as a cautionary tale about the excesses of contemporary celebrity culture.

But, Bey Z are not the first. The Beckham's actually beat them to the punch, registering all three of their children's names on the European Union trade marks register last year.

Perhaps the rest of us should just cut our losses and consider our spawn's brand potential. 

Article originally appeared on Justinian: Australian legal magazine. News on lawyers and the law (http://justinian.com.au/).
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