Music Business

Don’t be sad, Mariah Carey was denied a ‘Queen Of Christmas’ trademark

It seems that Mariah Carey won’t be getting what she wanted for Christmas this year after the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board rejected her request to be the queen of the holiday.

by Timothy Geigner of Celebrity Access

In Chicago, fall lasts roughly fifteen minutes. That means that it’s not even Thanksgiving yet and this morning we woke up to 2 inches of snow on the ground and more of it gently falling to Earth. It looks like Christmas already, which is appropriate as I also woke up to an update on Mariah Carey’s attempt to register a trademark for herself as the “Queen of Christmas.”

We first discussed this attempt over the summer. We noted at the time that there were a few problems with Carey’s attempt to lock up this moniker, chiefly that there are several other music performers that have gone by “Queen of Christmas” for years and years. Darlene Love is one of them, as she performed her 60’s hit Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) on David Letterman’s show for decades. Letterman named her the Queen of Christmas during that time. 

She wasn’t the only one. Elizabeth Chan is another musician who mostly only makes holiday songs and has also gone by the name the “Queen of Christmas.” Chan actually took a step to retain counsel specifically to oppose Carey’s application…

…and, though it may not be quite a Christmas miracle, she won. Carey has been officially denied her trademark due to existing uses by artists elsewhere.

Mariah Carey may call herself the Queen of Christmas, but she can’t legally prevent others from calling themselves that as well. That’s the decision of the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, which has ruled against Mariah’s attempts to register the trademarks “Queen of Christmas,” “Princess of Christmas” and “QOC.”

Elizabeth Chan, the full-time Christmas music artist who’s been called the Queen of Christmas for years, is the one who filed to legally block Mariah from owning the exclusive rights to the title. Chan’s five-year-old daughter Noelle has been nicknamed the “Princess of Christmas,” and now, she can continue to use that name as well.  

So what does this mean? Only that Carey can’t lock this already-used moniker up for herself to prevent these existing artists from continuing to use it as they have for many years. Carey can still call herself whatever she likes. And, for what it’s worth, All I Want For Christmas Is You remains one of the few holiday songs I can actually stomach.

I realize that artists like Carey sure do love their branding opportunities… but this whole episode feels more like the commercialism side of Christmas than any nod to the spirit of the holiday. And, really, a true Queen of Christmas would know that.

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