Nov 8, 2022

Maya In A Jama Over Trade Mark Application

Maya Jama is a well-known TV and radio presenter and DJ. Like many other celebrities she has sought to capitalise on her fame by branching out and launching ranges of fashion, cosmetics, and jewellery bearing her name. Part of this strategy has been to seek to launch the ranges in the USA and as part of this process, Jama applied to register her name as a trade mark against goods including perfume and jewellery.

This, however, is where Jama has run into difficulties as she has been informed by the US Trade Mark Office that her application is too similar to an existing trade mark owned by an American singer called Maya J Jenkins. Ms. Jenkins is relatively little known, especially in comparison to Jama. She has a few tracks on Spotify and has appeared in some TV shows, where Jama has over two million social media followers. This is not however particularly relevant to the issue of trade mark ownership with Jenkins having filed her application first.

This is a significant issue in the USA and Jama will now have a six-month period to respond to the USPTO and seek to convince them that her application should be approved.

This case highlights a crucial difference between US and UK trade mark practice. As the USPTO has identified this earlier mark they will not let Jama’s application proceed unless she can convince them that there isn’t a risk of confusion. The approach in the UK however would be for the UK trade mark office to inform an applicant of an earlier right that may cause confusion but not to object to the mark on that basis. Rather the UKIPO would inform the holder of the earlier right who would then be required to take proactive steps to oppose the application, a more advantageous situation for applicants.

If this case has brought up any questions for you please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniels Law on 0191 281 4000 or by email to legal@mcdanielslaw.com.

in: Case Law, EU/International, Legal News, News, Trade Marks

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