As soon as the clock strikes midnight on Halloween and all the stores switch over their playlist to a nauseating rotation of holiday hits, Mariah Carey once again ascends to her full power. Without fail, the familiar refrain of Carey's 1994 hit "All I Want for Christmas is You" works its way back up the charts and the pop singer's seasonal empire grows stronger. There have been few that have stood up to challenge Carey and her tinsel-covered throne, that is until the US Patent and Trademark Office got involved.
The US Trademark Trial and Appeals Board have decided that Mariah Carey could not trademark "Queen of Christmas," ruling in favor of Elizabeth Chan who argued that the singer "can't monopolize Christmas." Carey, who was dubbed "the undisputed queen of Christmas" by Billboard just last year, had attempted to trademark "Queen of Christmas" as well as similar phrases like “QOC,” “Princess of Christmas,” and “Christmas Princess” to have the exclusive right to use and sell merch with the various phrases emblazoned on it.
Elizabeth Chan, who was also dubbed the "Queen of Christmas" in a New Yorker profile and released an album bearing the same name in 2017, formally challenged Carey's attempts to lay sole claim to the title earlier this year by filing a declaration to the appeals board in an effort to block the trademark application. Chan (nor Carey for that matter) was by no means the first person to wear the "Queen of Christmas" crown, with “Baby Please Come Home” singer Darlene Love having been dubbed the title by David Letterman in 1993 and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" singer Brenda Lee by Variety before her. Love even addressed Carey's trademark attempts in a Facebook post, writing that “If Mariah has a problem call David or my lawyer!”
“Christmas has come way before any of us on Earth, and hopefully will be around way after any of us on Earth,” Chan explained to Variety in an interview. “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.”
Following the US Trademark Trial and Appeals Board ruling, Chan's attorney Louis Tompros said in a statement, “This was a classic case of trademark bullying. We are pleased with the victory, and delighted that we were able to help Elizabeth fight back against Carey’s overreaching trademark registrations.”
Chan explained to Page Six that “I did this to protect and save Christmas. Christmas isn’t about one single person — it’s about everybody.” The singer added that she “dedicated [her] life to this understanding of how special Christmas is. It was difficult to be the one to stand up” against Carey for the sake of the greater good.
As for Carey, the diva doesn't seem none too fussed about losing the trademark bid, having even magnanimously offered to pass the "Queen of Christmas" title on to Dolly Parton, who recently launched a collection of holiday-themed dog accessories. “I love her. You think of Christmas, you think of Mariah," Parton said. "I’m happy to be second in line to her.”
Photo via Getty/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
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