23 October 2019TrademarksSaman Javed

USPTO denies Kanye West ‘Sunday Service’ TM

Kanye West has been unsuccessful in his attempt to register the phrase ‘Sunday Service’ as a trademark at the US Patent and Trademark Office ( USPTO), because the trademark is already taken.

In an initial decision, published October 16, the USPTO denied West’s application because there is a likelihood of confusion between West’s applied-for mark and an earlier trademark.

The earlier trademark for the same phrase is owned by Jeff Jonas, also known as DJ Escape, who has owned the trademark since 2014, for “arranging, organising, conducting, and hosting social entertainment events, including live music performances”.

West first filed to trademark the phrase on July 19, after he held a series of church services across the US where he played live music. The rapper also took his Sunday Service performance to Coachella in April.

He had applied to register the mark for merchandise such as dresses, footwear, headwear, jackets, loungewear, scarves, shirts and socks.

But, the USPTO said the applied-for mark and Jonas’ mark are “identical in appearance, sound and meaning” and “have the potential to be used in exactly the same manner”.

The office said it was common for music artists to sell clothing related to their musical performance, such as when West sold “Sunday Service” merchandise at Coachella.

It found that this established a link between the goods and services covered by Jonas’ registration and West’s application.

Following the initial refusal, the rapper may now file a response to the decision and amend his registration.

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