PTO Rejects Jay-Z’s and Beyonce’s Trademark Bid for Blue Ivy

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Oct 23, 2012

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Jay-Z and Beyonce have lost their bid to trademark the name of their daughter, Blue Ivy. It’s a great name, right? The celebrity couple filed for the trademark shortly after their daughter’s birth, hoping to use the name to market a line of children’s clothing and baby supplies at some point in the future. Unfortunately, it is already being used by a wedding planning company in Boston, and has been in use since 2009. Trademark rules generally dictate that the owner of a mark in use prior to someone else’s application for the same mark gets priority. In other words, if someone else is using the name you are trying to trademark, you may very well be out of luck.

There are exceptions, of course. Sometimes you can trademark a name that someone else is already using if you plan to use the name in a completely different industry. The trick is making sure potential customers are not confused. For example, if Jay-Z and Beyonce were granted a trademark for Blue Ivy for generally the same use, that could hurt the original mark’s owner, Veronica Alexandra, and her business down the road. If the two businesses were to become competitors, Alexandra could lose out in terms of marketing and name recognition to the more famous Blue Ivy.

A number of news sources have reported that no one is upset, however. Alexandra has indicated she would be more than happy to sell her business to Jay-Z and Beyonce. Smart business woman.

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