Mariah Carey wanted a Trademark for Christmas.
Mariah Carey has been called the “Queen of Christmas” following the success of her 1994 holiday classic, “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” This reign led Carey to apply with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in March 2021 to market herself as the sole “Queen of Christmas” legally. The trademark would mean no one else could use the title for marketing and merchandising. Her company, Lotion LLC, wanted to use the branding — plus “Princess Christmas” and “QOC” — for a range of products, from fragrances and makeup to clothing, jewelry, milk, and dog accessories, according to trademark applications.
During the trademark application process, applications are made public, and any party who believes the registration of the mark will damage them may file a notice of opposition. The pop diva’s attempt to register the name was met with resistance. Two singers have also been associated with that term over the years, Darlene Love, who said David Letterman christened her Queen of Christmas nearly three decades ago, and Elizabeth Chan.
This past August, Elizabeth Chan’s attorney filed a formal declaration of opposition against Carey’s claim for trademarking the phrase.
Who Is Elizabeth Chan?
Elizabeth Chan, a full-time singer/songwriter from New York who exclusively makes Christmas music, has often been called the “Queen of Christmas” by the media, including a 2018 profile by the New Yorker. Over the last decade, the musician has published an album with a Christmas theme each year, resulting in several songs for radio and holiday playlists and a strong following, and even released an album aptly titled “Queen of Christmas.”
Back in August, Chan spoke to Variety about Carey’s attempt to trademark the phrase, saying, “I feel very strongly that no one person should hold onto anything around Christmas or monopolize it in the way that Mariah seeks to in perpetuity. That’s not the right thing to do. Christmas is for everyone. It’s meant to be shared; it’s not meant to be owned.”
She first found out about Mariah Carey’s efforts to trademark the term while she was going through the legal process ahead of the release of her 2021 album Queen of Christmas.
Why Did Mariah Carey give up her pursuit of the trademark “Queen of Christmas”?
According to The Washington Post, Carey gave up on the fight and, when the time came, essentially let the trademark request fizzle out. Carey’s lawyers filed several motions to extend proceedings in recent months but still needed to file a response to Chan’s objection by the fall deadline. When the superstar’s management team didn’t respond to the opposition, the Trial Trademark and Appeal Board made a default judgment, rejecting Carey’s trademark request.
As a result, both Carey and Chan can continue to use the phrase, along with anyone else who wishes.
The Importance of Trademark Search and Registration
According to Variety, Elizabeth Chan’s attorney found out about Mariah Carey’s trademark application and flagged it to her. He likely found it during a trademark search for the term “Queen of Christmas” for Chan’s album; if he hadn’t done it, Carey might have gotten the trademark giving her the intellectual property of it and preventing anyone else from using it. It was a savvy business move by the pop diva and could be for you.
If you plan to protect a name for your business, services, or products, we have a blog about how to do a trademark search here.
We always recommend having an expert Trademark attorney by your side to explain the likelihood of the name being nationally protected with USPTO.
Marcos E. Garciaacosta is an international business, patent, trademark, and intellectual property attorney. He can assist you in the process of selecting, researching, and filing a trademark at the federal level with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Contact attorney Marcos for 15 minutes free consultation by phone on how to begin searching and securing a new trademark registration at (480) 324-6378.