So, a company called “Feyonce Inc.” is selling t-shirts and singlets and mugs with the words “Feyoncé - He Put a Ring On It”.
Get it? Feyonce sounds like Beyoncé and Beyoncé sang that song about putting a ring on it; which means, proposing to your significant other, who then becomes your fiancé, so “feyoncé”...
Both original AND clever.
Anyway, Beyoncé has found them out, and she’s filed a suit in the U.S against Feyonce Inc for trade mark infringement, unfair competition and trademark dilution.
Does she have a case? We think so.
Beyoncé has registered her name as a trade mark in respect of numerous goods including perfumes, clothing, and of course, her music. Feyoncé is being used in respect of goods with which Beyoncé has a registered trade mark. It’s hard not to think of “Beyoncé” when you see “Feyoncé”, and it might make people think that there is a connection between them, by the use of Feyoncé on merch commonly sold by artists, such as t-shirts and singlets. We think Feyoncé is deceptively similar to Beyoncé, and is therefore likely to constitute trade mark infringement.
Interestingly, Feyonce Inc. probably already knows this. They apparently sought to register “Feyoncé” as a trade mark but it was rejected by the US Patent and Trademark Office on the basis that it was confusingly similar to the Beyoncé trade mark.
Surely, Feyonce Inc. must’ve known it’d come to this. Beyoncé didn’t achieve Queen Bee status by taking this kind of thing lying down. They’d better put a lid on it.