Beyoncé has issued legal proceedings against Texas company, Feyoncé Inc, for “brazenly” selling merchandise that infringes her intellectual property.
A year ago it was reported that Beyoncé’s legal team had complained to online peer2peer marketplace Etsy the sale of “Feyoncé” mugs. Those items were promptly removed, but other products featuring “Feyoncé” remained widely available.
The lawsuit has been filed in Manhattan federal court and includes three defendants from San Antonio. The singer is seeking unspecified damages. The suit claims that Feyoncé has ignored the singer’s requests to stop selling their products, and that their items not only confuse consumers, but have caused the pop star irreparable harm.
The Feyoncé site sells a variety of shirts, hoodies, tank tops and other clothing items. However the lawsuit focusses on a mug stamped with the phrase, “Feyoncé: He put a ring on it.” Whilst this could be a pun on “fiancé,” somewhat unsurprsingly the lawsuit claims the mug was specifically designed to make a reference Beyoncé’s 2008 hit, “Single Ladies”, which includes the lyric “Cause if you liked it then you should have put a ring on it”. Beyonce is of course married Jay Z in 2008.
The suit says: “Defendants adopted the Feyoncé mark to call to mind Beyoncé and her famous song” and “Defendants’ conduct described herein is intentional, fraudulent, malicious, wilful and wanton.” The suit also alleges that one defendant, Andre Maurice, tried to trademark “Feyoncé” twice, both with and without the accent over the “e.”