Friday, June 30, 2017

Beyonce Spends $12,000 in Filing Fees on Trademark Applications For What May Be Her Twins' Names

The same company that owns several of Beyonce's federal trademark registrations (like the registration for BEYONCE) just filed more trademarks applications for what may be the names of her twins. The applications, which were filed by BGK Trademark Holdings, LLC on June 26th, are for RUMI CARTER and SIR CARTER. The company filed one application for SIR CARTER and two for RUMI CARTER (although the RUMI CARTER applications appear to be identical).
Mark Image
The goods and services covered by these applications are expansive, spanning 15 classes and totaling over $4,000 in filing fees per application. Some of the goods and services covered include:
  • Fragrances and skin care products (Class 3);
  • Baby teething rings (Class 10);
  • Baby carriages and baby strollers (Class 12);
  • A variety of bags, including tote bags, beach bags, and hand bags (Class 18);
  • Playpens for babies (Class 20);
  • Drinking cups for babies (Class 21);
  • Crib bumpers, fitted crib sheets, crib skirts, and baby blankets (Class 24);
  • Hair accessories (Class 26);
  • Baby rattles and baby swings (Class 28);
  • Online retail store services featuring music (Class 35); and
  • Entertainment services in the nature of live musical performances (Class 41).
The applications, which were signed by Celestine Knowles Carter, were filed on an intent to use basis, suggesting Beyonce is not using these trademarks in commerce yet but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future (which makes sense considering the twins were only born recently). See TMEP 806.01(b); 15 USC 1052(b)

Are these the names of Beyonce and Jay-Z's twins? You be the judge. But note this same company owns the application for BLUE IVY CARTER covering nearly identical goods and services. That application was published in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Official Gazette in January and is likely to register any day now.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Amazon Files Applications to Register AMAZON SPHERES, and Sphere Design, as Trademarks

A few days after Amazon announced it was acquiring Whole Foods, it filed two federal trademark applications for something completely unrelated - the AMAZON SPHERES.
What are the Amazon Spheres? Apparently they're giant glass spheres the mega-company is building in downtown Seattle that will house waterfalls, rivers, and tropical gardens. The structures won't be finished until early 2018.

On June 21st, however, Amazon Technologies, Inc. filed two federal trademark applications related to the spheres - one for the words AMAZON SPHERES (which I first thought would be another consumer good) and one for the design seen above (which is described in the application as only a "sphere design").

Amazon filed both applications on an intent to use basis, suggesting it is not using the marks in commerce yet but it has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future (which makes sense given the opening date). TMEP 806.01(b); 15 U.S.C. 1051(b). The goods covered by each application are the same and include the following:
  • Paper goods and printed matter (Class 16);
  • Clothing, headgear, footwear (Class 25);
  • Toys and sporting goods (Class 28); and
  • Advertising and business services, retail store and online retail store services (Class 35).
According to my quick search, these two trademark applications bring Amazon's total to 33 applications filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office so far in 2017. These appear to be the first applications related to the "Amazon Sphere," although I suspect there will be more to follow.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

COVFEFE for Beer and 31 Other Applications to Register COVFEFE as a Trademark Filed in Less Than Two Weeks

Back in January it was "Alternative Facts." In June, it's COVFEFE. Since President Trump tweeted the strange word in the early morning hours of May 31st, 32 applications to register the word as a trademark have been filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The very first application, for #COVFEFE, was filed by an individual in Illinois and covers hats, t-shirts, jackets, and various other apparel items. Some of the other goods and services covered by these COVFEFE applications include:
There are also several applications covering various clothing items in Class 25.

Obviously, multiple applications for the same word covering the same goods and services will cause problems for most of these applicants because the USPTO will not register a mark that is confusingly similar to a mark contained in a previously filed application covering related goods or services. 15 USC 1052(d). Generally, the applicant that files first for particular goods and services is entitled to registration over later-filed applications.

However, that assumes all the other statutory requirements for registration are met. See 15 USC 1052 for common refusals to registration. For example, generally, before a trademark application will mature into a registration, it must be in actual use as a trademark in interstate commerce (meaning the mark identifies the source of the applicant's goods/services and such goods/services are being sold, shipped, or, in the case of services, promoted or rendered across state lines). If an applicant cannot successfully demonstrate it is using COVFEFE as a trademark in commerce, or if there are any other deficiencies with the application (i.e., inadequate description of the goods/services, deficient specimen of use, incorrect classification of goods/services, etc.) the application will be abandoned and the non-refundable filing fees lost.

So, although 32 COVFEFE trademark applications have been filed through June 11th, and many more are likely to come, a very small number of these will actually register. Most will be refused registration due to earlier filed COVFEFE applications covering related goods/services, others will not submit sufficient proof of use, and other applicants will be denied due to various deficiencies in their applications.

In other words, while it's relatively easy to file a federal trademark application, it is only the beginning of a complicated legal process and by no means guarantees an applicant a federal trademark registration.

The trademarks and the application serial numbers filed through June 11th are:

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Prince's Company Files Multiple Trademark Applications For Holographic Musical Performances

Paisley Park Enterprises, Inc., Prince's main business company, had a busy day at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on June 2nd. On that day, the company filed 17 federal trademark applications for PRINCE, THE BEAUTIFUL ONES, and the symbol below in a variety of classes for a broad range of goods and services.
Mark Image
While several goods and services are listed in these applications, one particular service stands out - "holographic musical performances" in Class 41. Is a Prince hologram in the works? Apparently there was some buzz about a hologram shortly after Prince passed away last year, but these applications may be a step in that direction.

Why? Because these applications were all filed on an intent to use basis, which means the company submitted a verified statement that it has a bona fide intention to use these trademarks in commerce with the listed goods and services. TMEP 806.01(b); 15 USC 1051(b). Additionally, before these applications can fully register, Paisley Park Enterprises will need to submit sufficient proof that the marks are actually being used in commerce (i.e., it is actually providing holographic musical performances). TMEP 902. While this doesn't guarantee or require Paisley Park Enterprises to start using these marks with, for example, holographic musical performances, they do suggest something is in the works.

Some other goods and services covered by these applications include:
The goods and services covered by the PRINCE [standard characters] applications and those covered by the design above are the same.

Is a holographic Prince performance, and perhaps a Prince restaurant or retail store, coming soon? Stay tuned and watch these applications to find out.