– Hi, I'm Ashley Dobbs, I'm the Associate Professor and Director of the Intellectual Propertyand Transactional Law Clinic at the University ofRichmond School of Law and I'm back again, unpacking celebrities and trademarks.
As you may have heard, Kim Kardashian and Kanye Westhave a new bundle of joy, Psalm West.
And before the baby was practically out the door of the hospital, they have filed 16 trademarksin the baby's name, Psalm West, for a wide varietyof products and services.
So, what's up with that? Is that just, like, aKardashian family tradition? Kimye have already filed trademarks for their three other children for North West, SaintWest, Chicago West as have Khloe and Kylie.
And, Queen Bey andJay-Z filed a trademark, as you may recall, whentheir baby Blue Ivy was born.
So, can they do that? As it turns out, yes, usually, probably.
It's not uncommon for celebrities to sell products under abrand name of their own name.
Paul Newman, some of you may recall that he was an actor beforehe sold salad dressing.
And, momma Kim Kardashian herself sells a line of beauty products under her name as the brand name.
But what about these "baby marks?" What's up with that? So, are these babies going to be producing and selling baby monitors and mobile apps before they turn three? Remains to be seen, but there's some trademark law that has to befactored in to figure out whether they can do that.
A trademark indicates who the source is, what company is the sourceof goods or services and, when you apply for federaltrademark protection, the US Patent and Trademark Office is gonna check to makesure that nobody else is already using thatname or a similar name for the same or similargoods and services.
And if you pass that first hurdle, then, you have to show that you're actually using thetrademark in commerce, in connection withthose goods or services.
And if you haven't yet, and you have a bonafide intent, like you really plan to, you have up to three years to prove that you've actually done it.
So, back to the baby marks.
Well, Blue Ivy is having some troubles getting her trademarksthrough the process, or I should say her parents are.
First of all, because theyfiled these trademarks with the plan that they would use it and they did not use itwithin that three-year window.
So they had to reapplyfor those trademarks.
So if they weren't gonna usethem, why did they apply? Well that's a very good question, and one that a person who'sopposing these trademarks for another reason has brought up.
Turns out, somebody isalready using that name for similar services.
There's a Blue Ivyevent production company that got a registeredtrademark for Blue Ivy long before Blue Ivy Carter was ever a glimmer in Jay-Z's eye.
That woman has alleged that they have no genuine intent to use this to market products.
merely filed these trademarks for an impermissible defensive purpose.
That is, they just filed the applications to stop other people fromprofiting from their baby's name.
Now, going back to the Kardashians, do we think that Psalm West is going to be the sameslacker that Blue Ivy is and can't get his products out the door before he's three years old? Given the Kardashians' experience with trademark andcelebrity endorsements, it's likely that they will make sure that Psalm and hissiblings have all secured their trademark rightsbefore they're three.