Beyoncé is ringing the alarm on this argument.
The name of the star's 7-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, is at the center of an ongoing trademark battle. According to a brief newly field by attorneys for the singer's limited liability company and obtained by E! News, in January 2016, the company filed an application to register a trademark for "Blue Ivy Carter," which would cover goods including fragrances, cosmetics, skincare, baby teething rings, playing cards and more. However, in May 2017, a woman named Veronica Morales filed an opposition against the trademark, citing her own trademark, "Blue Ivy," which she had applied for in 2012. "Blue Ivy" is the name of Morales' Boston-based "lifestyle event planning firm."
"The Opposition, which claims that consumers are likely to be confused between a boutique wedding event planning business and Blue Ivy Carter, the daughter of two of the most famous performers in the world, is frivolous and should be refused in its entirety," the brief states. "Opposer has demonstrated repeatedly that it is not at all concerned about how the presence of the Blue Ivy Carter trademark in the marketplace will impact its own Blue Ivy trademark...Rather, Opposer has exhibited a pattern and practice of affirmatively attempting to connect its brand with Blue Ivy Carter to increase its exposure and drum up business." As an example, the brief points to a radio interview Morales participated in in which she discussed the inquiries the company had gotten after Blue was born.
In the brief, Bey's attorneys further argue the trademarks differ thanks to the inclusion of Blue's last name, "Carter," and that there is no likelihood of confusion between the two trademarks given one is the name of a celebrity and the other is not.
"The BGK Mark brings to mind a famous child who is listed in the IMDb database, reported on by popular press, and whose name generates millions of hits on a Google search," the brief reads. "The commercial impression of Opposer's Mark is not a human being. Instead, its commercial impression is an event planning business...Due to this drastic difference in connotations and commercial impressions, there is no likelihood of confusion between Opposer's Mark and BGK's Mark."
It also contends "Opposer could not plausibly argue that someone searching for help with planning a wedding, reunion, or other social or business gathering will somehow instead stumble upon a famous celebrity's brand and confuse BGK's Mark with Opposer's Mark."
The brief declares "Blue Ivy Carter is a cultural icon who has been described as a 'mini style star' and has been celebrated for her 'fashion moments' overs [sic] the years…Her life and activities are followed extensively by the media and the public."
The documents also explain the context of the Blue Ivy Carter trademark filing. "Blue Ivy Carter has achieved a significant amount of fame, particularly at such a young age...She also has a noted and well-chronicled interest in fashion," the brief points out. "Given these factors, Blue Ivy Carter is capable of and interested in becoming the face of a brand...For this reason, the factual context demonstrates that BGK filed the Application with the intent to build a brand around Blue Ivy Carter and her public reputation and renown."
Beyoncé's company has requested that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board dismiss the opposition and allow their application for the "Blue Ivy Carter" trademark to "move forward to registration."