It’s that time of the year again. You most likely will be unable to escape the holiday season without hearing Mariah Carey’s famous song “All I Want for Christmas is You” at least once. Like it or not, her song has become a staple due to its long-lasting success. While Carey, like many others, would consider herself the “Queen of Christmas,” there is at least one party that would disagree: the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB).
The TTAB has permanently rejected Carey’s attempt to register “Queen of Christmas” as a trademark after she had failed to respond to opposition proceedings. Carey wanted to use the phrase in connection with a wide range of goods, such as lotions, fragrances, jewelry, mugs, clothing, food, ornaments, and of course, music. The rejection concludes a more than yearlong exchange between Carey and the United States Trademark and Patent Office, in which she was also previously denied applications for “Princess Christmas” and “QOC” for similar goods and services.
One of the main proponents against Carey’s use of the mark was Elizabeth Chan, who officially filed opposition proceedings against Carey this year for her various marks. Chan is a singer who has dedicated her career to Christmas music, and she herself has been called the “Queen of Christmas” and even released an album with the same name. Chan, among others in the singer/songwriter community, believes no single person should have exclusive and permanent rights to the title. When the deadline finally came to respond to Chan’s opposition proceedings, Carey failed to submit a counterargument to the TTAB. Therefore, Carey’s trademark application had finally lapsed and has officially cleared the way, as Chan had hoped, for all the future “Queens of Christmas” to freely use the title.