Mariah Carey not the sole “Queen of Christmas,” trademark board says
▶ Watch Video: Mariah Carey reads excerpt from new fairytale book, “The Christmas Princess”
Her music may be the unofficial anthem of the holiday season, but officially, Mariah Carey is not the “Queen of Christmas” – or even the holiday’s “princess” – the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruled on Tuesday.
Carey, whose 1994 hit “All I Want for Christmas is You” has become one of the most recognizable parts of the Christmas holiday season. As such, she filed a petition last year to trademark the name “Queen of Christmas”
But that petition failed, according to a press release by Christmas music artist Elizabeth Chan, who has been vocal about her opposition to Carey’s request. Chan is “the world’s only full-time Christmas music recording artist,” according to the press release, and has held the nickname “Queen of Christmas for years,” as have other artists.
According to the release, the trademark board not only rejected Carey’s request to exclusively use the title, but also “rejected and denied” her requested trademarks of “Princess Christmas” and “QOC.”
Along with seeking exclusive use of the name for herself, Carey attempted 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. The trademark request included dozens of other products as well.
“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,” Chan said in the release. “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. 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.”
Chan’s opposition was represented by the law firm WilmerHale. The firm’s partner Louis Tompros said in a release that Carey’s attempt was a “classic case of trademark bullying.”
“We are pleased with the victory, and delighted that we were able to help Elizabeth fight back against Carey’s overreaching trademark registrations,” he said.
Chan said that she filed a formal opposition against Carey’s request this year to “not just to protect myself, but also to protect future Queens of Christmas.” Her team said that had Carey’s request been successful, she would have been able to sue anyone using the term or selling products with that phrasing on it. She also would have been able to seek licensing fees and royalties.
CBS News has reached out to Carey’s attorney for comment.
The trademark request outcome hasn’t stopped Carey from harnessing all the Christmas phrases she can. She just released a picture book called “The Christmas Princess,” a “modern fairy tale” about Little Mariah, who “doesn’t have much and doesn’t want a lot” besides peace and joy during the holiday season.