Say Her Name, Say Her Name: Jay-Z and Beyoncé Are Almost Ready To Trademark ‘Blue Ivy’
On January 26th, 2012, only days after their daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, was born, Beyoncé and Jay-Z filed an “intent to use” application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for the name “Blue Ivy Carter” through Beyoncé’s company, BGK Trademark Holdings.
Last Tuesday, the USPTO gave notice that the trademark application faces no opposition. Beyoncé and Jay-Z are on their way to acquiring the rights. They must now start using the trademark in commerce to prove that they are using the name to market their products. The celebrity couple plans to use the trademark for skin care products, key chains, ring tones, curlers, eyeglasses, strollers, handbags, stickers, playpens, wallets, baby bedding, teething rings, scrunchies, soccer balls, and movies.
While some may call their rush to the USPTO a shrewd business move aimed at furthering the Carter brand, the decision could also be considered a pre-emptive strike against companies aiming to profit off the celebrity couple’s empire and their baby daughter.
Blue Ivy has been dubbed “the world’s most famous baby.” She was the subject of a Saturday Night Live skit, her baby clothes are documented by fashion bloggers worldwide, and she is the record holder of being the youngest person ever to appear on a billboard chart after Jay-Z released the song “Glory” within 48 hours of her birth, which incorporated her voice.
Right after Beyoncé and Jay-Z announced the newborn’s name to the press, trademark applications for “Blue Ivy” started popping up across the United States. On January 11th, four days after Blue Ivy’s birth, Joseph Mbeh, submitted an application to trademark “Blue Ivy Carter NYC” for a children’s clothing line. After the Trademark office denied the filing, Mbeth released a statement claiming it was all a misunderstanding and he never intended to piggyback off the celebrity couple’s fame. He insisted that he planned on pitching the clothing line to Beyoncé and Jay-Z, and after he found out Blue Ivy was not a registered trademark, he tried to secure it himself. Another business owner filed an application for “Blue Ivy Carter Glory IV” in hopes of using the trademark for a fragrance and body glitter collection. The trademark office denied the application, expressing concern that consumers would falsely believe that the celebrity couple approved the products when they did not.
The USPTO granted trademark rights to a Boston-based wedding planning company that has been operating under the name “Blue Ivy” since 2009, provided that the company only uses the name for event planning. Since Beyoncé and Jay-Z do not intend to use the trademark for event planning, the two trademarks don’t conflict.