By John Mitchell
Blue Ivy Carter's name was an instant hit and her parents, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, are going to extra lengths to protect it. MTV News has confirmed that the power couple filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to reserve their daughter's name for use in the future. The patent is intended to prevent the use of Blue Ivy's name by non related parties.
It's a smart move, according to family law attorney and author Vikki Ziegler. "[Seeking the trademark] forestalls competitors from using the child's name and or third parties from attempting to sell the baby's name back to the couple," Ziegler told MTV News. "They are likely trying to protect what they rightfully own or created, shall we say, by trademarking Blue Ivy's name."
The application to trademark Blue Ivy Carter's name, filed by BGK Trademark Holdings (Beyoncé's company) is currently pending but will likely be approved because, as the Washington Post reports, parents are legally authorized to trademark the names of their minor children.
"In essence, it's a trademark for a brand, and this brand is expected to be one hot commodity — just look at Blue Ivy's parents," Ziegler said. "Anyone else that tried to use the name after the trademark was approved could be sued and held liable for damages."
While the Patent Office looks fondly on attempts to trademark the name of one's own child, attempts to do the same with the names of other people's kids are another story, as two designers learned when they sought — just days after Blue Ivy's birth — to trademark the baby's name for their own use.
Applications from fashion designer Joseph Mbeh to patent "Blue Ivy Carter NYC" and by an unnamed designer to trademark "Blue Ivy Carter Glory IV" for a fragrance line were denied by the Patent Office, which noted in its decision that the name belonged to a "very famous infant" and consumers would wrongly assume that any products bearing the name had been approved by Beyoncé and Jay-Z.
Ziegler noted that the trademark would "protect against others using the child's name as a brand of merchandise in the same marketplace," so it will not impact the "Blue Ivy" trademark held by a clothing boutique in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. The store filed to trademark its name on January 19, 2011, a year before Queen B and Jay made the name famous. They received approval on August 23 — five days before Beyoncé announced her pregnancy at the MTV Video Music Awards.