Mariah Carey Queen of Christmas Trade Mark application denied

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  • Mariah Carey application for Trade Mark to be Queen of Christmas rejected
  • Objection filed by another singer who exclusively writes Christmas music
  • Copyright claim over All I Want for Christmas Is You dropped

Mariah Carey has failed in her application to trademark the title “Queen of Christmas”.

The superstar’s application was denied by the US Patent and Trademark Office after her company failed to respond to another singer’s, Elizabeth Chan’s, opposition.

If Mariah had been successful she would have had the legal right to stop others from using the title Queen of Christmas on music and merchandise.

Mariah Carey also failed in her attempt to trademark the abbreviation “QOC ” and “Princess Christmas”.

Mariah Carey’s company Lotion LLC applied for the trademark last year which led to Elizabeth Chan filing an objection in August.

Having put out original festive records every year for a decade, Elizabeth Chan was dubbed “Queen of Christmas” by The New Yorker in 2018.

Speaking to Variety in August this year Elizabeth Chan pointed out “I feel very strongly that no one person should hold onto anything around Christmas or monopolise it in the way that Mariah seeks to in perpetuity,…That’s just not the right thing to do. Christmas is for everyone. It’s meant to be shared; it’s not meant to be owned.”

Elizabeth Chan said that Mariah was trying to trademark Queen of Christmas in every imaginable way” from music, clothing and alcohol, to “masks, dog collars – it’s all over the map”.

“If you knit a ‘Queen of Christmas’ sweater, you should be able to sell it on Etsy to somebody else so they can buy it for their grandma,” Elizabeth Chan added. “It’s crazy – it would have that breadth of registration.”

Mariah Carey’s company failed to respond to Elizabeth Chan’s opposition in time so the trademark was not granted.

Mariah Carey is a record breaking songwriter, actress, record producer and singer with a five octave vocal range. Mariah Carey’s 1994 album, Merry Christmas, is one of the best-selling Christmas albums of all time. The album includes the hit All I Want for Christmas is You, which reached number 1 in the UK charts for the first time in 2020,having spent a record 69 weeks in the top 40.  By 2017 the song had reportedly earned Mariah Carey more than $60m (£48m) in royalties and has been streamed over one billion times on Spotify.

In a recent memoir, Carey admitted to composing “most of the song on a cheap little Casio keyboard”.

Mariah has been dubbed “Songbird Supreme” by Guinness World Records and has no fewer than 3 world records for All I Want for Christmas Is You ie highest-charting holiday (Christmas/New Year) song on the U.S. Hot 100 chart by a solo artist, most-streamed track on Spotify in 24 hours (female) and most weeks in the U.K. singles top 10 chart for a
Christmas song.

Along with seeking exclusive use of the name Queen of Christmas for herself, Mariah Carey applied to have exclusivity to use it for a range of products including lotions, perfume, music recordings, human and animal clothing, eyewear, protective face masks and even various milks as well as other products. 

Mariah’s quest for a trade mark for the words ‘Queen of Christmas’ was, however, challenged by 42 year old Elizabeth Chan who exclusively writes and performs Christmas music. The New York based artist has released a Christmas album every year since 2011.

The season is her reason for making music!

Elizabeth Chan points out that “Christmas is for everyone. It’s meant to be shared; it’s not meant to be owned.”

“This was a classic case of trademark bullying,” Elizabeth Chan’s lawyer Louis Tompros said in a statement. “We are pleased with the victory, and delighted that we were able to help Elizabeth fight back against Carey’s overreaching trademark registrations.”

Chan added in a statement: “Christmas is a season of giving, not the season of taking, and it is wrong for an individual to attempt to own and monopolize a nickname like Queen of Christmas for the purposes of abject materialism.”

As an independent artist and small business owner, my life’s work is to bring people together for the holiday season, which is how I came to be called the Queen of Christmas,” she continued. “I wear that title as a badge of honor and with full knowledge that it will be – and should be – bestowed on others in the future. My goal in taking on this fight was to stand up to trademark bullying not just to protect myself, but also to protect future Queens of Christmas.”

Elizabeth Chan is not the only contender for the throne.

Darlene Love, 81, claims that she was the Queen of Christmas even before Mariah Carey was born.  Darlene Love recorded the song Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) in 1963, 7 years before Mariah Carey entered the world in Long Island New York on 27th March 1970. The song was written by Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry and Phil Spector and featured in the 1963 seasonal compilation album A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector.

Darlene Love claims “David Letterman officially declared me the Queen of Christmas 29 years ago” in 1993 – a year before Mariah released All I want For Christmas Is You.

She added: “At 81 years of age I’m not changing anything. I’ve been in the business for 52 years, have earned it and can still hit those notes!”

Darlene went on to point out that if Mariah Carey had a problem she should “call David or my lawyer”.

Darlene Love also sang the song All Alone on Christmas, which featured on the Home Alone 2 soundtrack

Where there’s a hit there’s a writ! That is not the end of Mariah’s Intellectual Property problems.

Stone v Carey et al, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, No. 2:22-cv-01616.Advertisement

Mariah was also being sued for copyright infringement by songwriter Andy Stone who claimed he co-wrote a song with the same name “All I want For Christmas Is You” five years before Mariah and that Mariah exploited his “popularity” and “style”.

Andy Stone, who performs as Vince Vance with the band Vince Vance and the Valiants, claimed at least $20m (c £17m) in damages.  Andy Stone is claiming that Mariah Carey, as well as her co-writer Walter Afanasieff and record label Sony Music Entertainment, “knowingly, wilfully, and intentionally engaged in a campaign” to infringe copyright and have earned “undeserved profits” from the song.

On 1st November Andy Stone applied to dismiss the case without prejudice, which means it could be refiled.

The United States Copyright Office lists 177 entries on its website under the title All I Want for Christmas is You.

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Andrew Eborn, President Octopus TV Ltd, is an international lawyer, strategic business adviser, broadcaster, author and futurist. For many years Andrew has empowered companies to face the challenges of changing markets, maximise the return on their rights as well as assisting with the strategic development of their businesses. Andrew Eborn appears regularly on various channels around the world as a presenter / contributor on a wide range of topics as well as a speaker / host at live events including major festivals.

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