Trademarks in the News: Blue Ivy Carter & Trayvon Martin

Why do they do it?

We all are keenly aware that Beyonce and her husband, Jay-Z have a lovely daughter named Blue Ivy Carter…and why this may be newsworthy.

We are also keenly aware of who Trayvon Martin is and why this is newsworthy.

There are two additional stories related to these events: the trademark registrations of the name of the infant and phrases used in connection with the shooting death of Trayvon (“I am Trayvon”; “Justice for Trayvon”).

The first reaction from general public is that the reason for these trademark registrations is to turn a profit. However, there is another reason to do so: to prevent and regulate usage/registration of these marks by others.  After the birth of Blue Ivy, a number of people attempted to register marks using the infant’s name. Why? So they can make a profit placing the name on products and selling them. The same situation occurred with Trayvon. The investigation and publicity of Trayvon’s case has fueled online sales of Trayvon-related merchandise. Yes, people trying to make a profit from a teenager’s death.

Here are some sample trademarks/products that were being sold.  Can you blame Beyonce or the Martin family for their efforts?

Here is an example of a mark that was registered for Blue a third party, not Beyonce or Jay-ZSo these parents find it necessary to register these names/phrases to prevent others from making a profit on their children.
Here is a sample t-shirt that was being sold online (e.g. Ebay) by a third party, not Trayvon Martin's parents.

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