It's Beyoncé vs "Feyoncé" in a trademark war

Another major artist taking action to protect their identity

Texan superstar singer Beyoncé  Knowles is suing a Texas firm which has been selling clothing and merchandise emblazoned with the name "Feyoncé ".

As per the punning title, the online goods are aimed at the recently-engaged, with the company adding the phrase "He put a ring on it" in an apparent attempt to echo the refrain from Beyonce's 2008 hit 'Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It'.

The global star claims in court papers that Feyoncé Inc, based in San Antonio, has repeatedly ignored her requests to stop using the name.

The complaint states that the company and three individuals are "brazenly" referencing the star's instantly-recognisable mononym.

Knowles is accusing Feyoncé Inc of "trademark infringement, unfair competition, trademark dilution, among a score of other statutory and common law violations.

"Defendants have wilfully traded upon the goodwill and notoriety of Beyoncé, arguably one of the most famous musical artists and entrepreneurs in the world".

One defendant, Andre Maurice, registered two Feyoncé trademarks – without and without the accented "e".

Knowles wants the company to stop selling the goods and is also claiming unspecified damages, including all the profits earned from the label.

Etsy, the craft market website, was previously threatened with legal action for featuring mugs with Feyoncé print.

Last year, Knowles joined the musical likes of Rihanna and Kanye West in suing French clothing line Eleven for trademark infringement.

Keeping things litigious, Deadmau5 is another recording artist who finds himself defending his trademarks.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Canadian producer is going after e-cigarette company West Coast Vape Supply.

DeadMau5 – otherwise known as Joel Zimmerman – has a problem with its Deadmodz brand, which also features a logo similar to his trademark mouse ears.

A cease and desist letter in February prompted West Coast Vape Supply to make changes to the design but apparently they were insufficient.

Lawyer Irene Lee said:

"Instead of conceding their wrongdoing and agreeing to comply with our requests, they refused to acknowledge Deadmau5’s intellectual property rights and their wrongdoing, necessitating this legal action.

"We intend to vigorously protect Deadmau5’s rights".

Alham Benyameen, who heads up the e-cig company, called the case "trademark bullying at its finest".

In December 2015, pop star Taylor Swift received media criticism for attempting to trademark phrases related to her multi-million selling fifth album, 1989.

The applications for 20 words and phrases included many that would seem generic, including "Blank Space", "I'll write your name" and the year "1989".

In fact, rather than looking for an overall copyright, Swift was seeking specific trademarks to prevent companies combining the phrases with merch or services that could mislead consumers into thinking Swift endorsed them.

In many cases, it was the trademark on particular stylised writing being sought, rather than a monopoly on the words and phrases themselves.

"Swiftmas" is all hers though...