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Mariah Carey’s Move to Trademark ‘Queen of Christmas’ Angers Fellow Holiday Music Singers Darlene Love and Elizabeth Chan


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No one has to attend until December for a vacation squabble. Mariah Carey’s try and register the time period “Queen of Christmas” as a trademark solely she will use is assembly fierce resistance from two singers who’ve additionally been related to that time period over time, Darlene Love and Elizabeth Chan. And the latter caroler has gone to court docket this week to attempt to cease Carey from monopolizing it.

Love’s music has been a vacation staple ever since she sang a number of songs on what many individuals think about the best Christmas pop album of all time, the gathering greatest often called “Phil Spector’s Christmas Album,” again in 1963. Chan has constructed up a following and robust media profile as the one singer-songwriter who devotes herself to releasing solely Christmas music yearly; she even launched an album known as “Queen of Christmas.” And neither of them is having Carey’s try to assert the honorific — and myriad attendant merch rights — solely for herself.

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Chan’s legal professional filed a proper declaration of opposition to Carey’s trademark declare Friday. Love caught wind of Chan’s presumably impending court docket battle with Carey, and spoke out Monday together with her personal outrage over the pop famous person trying to legally personal the time period.

“Is it true that Mariah Carey trademarked ‘Queen of Christmas’?” wrote Love. “What does that mean, that I can’t use that title? David Letterman officially declared me the Queen of Christmas 29 years ago, a year before she released ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You,’ and at 81 years of age I’m NOT changing anything. I’ve been in the business for 52 years, have earned it and can still hit those notes! If Mariah has a problem call David or my lawyer!!”

(Love’s association with Christmas music really stretches to almost six a long time, and snowballed as Letterman had her on his program to sing the traditional “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” yearly from 1986 by 2014, a practice that has subsequently been carried on on different TV packages.)

Chan and her lawyer — Louis W. Tompros, of Boston-based WilmerHale — spoke with Variety over the weekend and shared the argument they’re making to the trademark trial and enchantment board to cease Carey in her snow tracks.

“Christmas has come way before any of us on earth, and hopefully will be around way after any of us on earth,
says Chan. “And I feel very strongly that no one person should hold onto anything around Christmas or monopolize it in the way that Mariah seeks to in perpetuity. That’s just not the right thing to do. Christmas is for everyone. It’s meant to be shared; it’s not meant to be owned.

“And it’s not just about the music business,” Chan continues. “She’s trying to trademark this in every imaginable way — clothing, liquor products, masks, dog collars — it’s all over the map. If you knit a ‘queen of Christmas’ sweater, you should be able to sell it on Etsy to somebody else so they can buy it for their grandma. It’s crazy — it would have that breadth of registration.”

Carey’s consultant didn’t return a request for remark final week about Chan’s authorized submitting.

Chan began to be known as “queen of Christmas” within the press earlier than she adopted it herself and used it for a 2021 album title. She says the primary time the media used it for her was when “All Access” utilized it in 2014, just a few years into her 11-year recording profession. But it actually picked up when the New Yorker profiled her in 2018 with the easy headline: “The Queen of Christmas.” The article described Chan as many others earlier than and since have, as “America’s most successful, and perhaps only, full-time Christmas-song singer-slash-composer.”

Meanwhile, Chan’s declaration to the trademark appeals board factors out that Carey has stated in interviews that she doesn’t need the title. In an interview Carey did as not too long ago in late 2021, she once more resisted it. “That was other people, and I just want to humbly say that I don’t consider myself that,” she advised the Zoe Bell Breakfast Show within the U.Ok. “‘I’m someone that loves Christmas, that happened to be blessed to write ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You.’ And a lot of other Christmas songs. And let’s face it, you know, everybody’s faith is what it is. But to me, Mary is the Queen of Christmas.”

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“It’s classic trademark bullying,” Tompros says. “What they’re trying to say is we want a monopoly over a queen of Christmas in these 16 different classes of goods and hundreds and hundreds of different kinds of products. And so the idea that she’s saying that they haven’t used it before and have even rejected the title before, on the one hand, but now ‘I want it for everything’ on the other hand, is really inconsistent.”

Says Chan, “In the Christmas music space, I’ve had top 10 singles (on AC charts) for the last eight years. That’s nothing to sniff at, and that’s hard for someone like me who is always up against the major labels. I’ve put so much into my dream and my career and trying to make something out of like nothing. I have none of the resources, but I have all of the heart, and I think that’s what’s helped me.” She says the trademark submitting is “daunting and it’s scary, because I love what I do.

“But I think people may think that it’s just this artist versus this artist. That’s not what this is about.” In her thoughts, by combating to maintain the terminology legally open to all, singers and civilians alike, she’s saving —if not Christmas — then a small a part of it.

Tompros took the case on professional bono after Chan spent a lot of the final yr calling trademark legal professionals that advised her it could be too robust to combat with out lots of of hundreds of {dollars} at her disposal. “They were giving me condolences for my career. They were telling me, ‘You have no chance. You can’t afford me.’” Compounding the problem is that Chan is difficult not only one however 4 logos for which Carey filed: Queen of Christmas, QOC, Princess of Christmas and Christmas Princess. Chan has beforehand known as her eldest daughter the Princess of Christmas, and desires to cease Carey in her tracks on that, too.

Why didn’t Carey apply for a “Christmas Queen” trademark, whereas she was trying to make a declare on a number of different phrases? Tompros says data present another person already tried to trademark that, and failed.

Tompros says a protracted interval of discovery will come subsequent. “The right thing for them to do, having seen the opposition, is to abandon this,” says the legal professional. “If they want to start selling ‘Queen of Christmas’ merchandise, fine — they can do it without the trademark.”

Chan defined what led her to pursue such an uncommon recording profession in a Variety profile final December titled: “Elizabeth Chan, Pop’s Only Full-Time Christmas Singer-Songwriter, on Why the Season Is Her Reason for Making Music.” That story started by imagining a purely tongue-in-cheek competitors for the title, with little foreknowledge of how critical it could quickly turn into: “Fandoms like to argue over whether Mariah Carey or Darlene Love is the true queen of Christmas. But can you really be queen if you aren’t doing Christmas music full-time?”

These aren’t the one three who’ve been named as Christmas royalty up to now. Brenda Lee recorded a number of Christmas songs within the late ’50s and ’60s, and her 1958 recording of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” has peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100 the final three years in a row, held again from the highest solely by Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Lee, 77, couldn’t be reached for touch upon whether or not she, too, has a beef with Carey desirous to legally lock down the moniker..

Is Tompros anxious in regards to the response which may come from Carey’s very, very devoted lambs? “No, I was joking with Elizabeth earlier that if I’d taken on the Alt Right/Infowars militants and Alex Jones in one case” — he has represented the creator of Pepe the Frog in copyright circumstances defending the cartoon character from being co-opted by the far proper — “then we’ll be OK here.”

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