For the name’s sake

Beyonce sues company selling goods as ‘Feyonce’

Reuters April 06, 2016
Beyonce has won 20 Grammy Awards throughout her career. PHOTO: FILE

NEW YORK: In her 2008 smash hit Single Ladies, Beyonce sang of telling a jealous ex-boyfriend that if he had wanted to commit to their relationship, he should have “put a ring on it.” Now, the singer is telling a Texas company selling merchandise online – under the name ‘Feyonce’ – to put a lid on it.

Beyonce –  one of the world’s most famous and influential pop stars – sued  to stop the sale of dozens of shirts, sweaters, tank tops, hoodies and even coffee mugs bearing the ‘Feyonce name on Tuesday. She claims the name of the company is too close to her own trademarked name.

In a complaint filed in the Manhattan federal court, Beyonce accused Feyonce Inc and three individuals, all from San Antonio, of “brazenly” selling infringing “Feyonce” merchandise on their website. Among the items is a $14.95 mug with the phrase “He put a ring on it,” which Beyonce says was intended to call to mind the lyrics of Single Ladies.

Beyonce sues company for using 'Feyonce' to sell products

The 34-year-old Beyonce – who is married to rapper Jay Z and has won multiple Grammy awards as a solo artist and with Destiny’s Child – said the sale of Feyonce knockoffs confuses consumers and causes her irreparable harm. She also added that the defendants have ignored her requests to stop. According to Beyonce, one defendant, Andre Maurice, has gone so far as to file two U.S. trademark applications for Feyonce, with and without the accent over the letter ‘e.’ “Defendants adopted the Feyonce mark to call to mind Beyonce and her famous song,” the lawsuit says. “Defendants’ conduct described herein is intentional, fraudulent, malicious, willful and wanton.” The lawsuit also seeks unspecified damages.

It is unclear whether the defendants have lawyers. Maurice, speaking by phone, declined to comment, saying he had yet to review the lawsuit. Beyonce’s law firm, Pryor Cashman, declined further comments. REUTERS

Published in The Express Tribune, April 7th,  2016.

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