Brian Ach/Getty; Jamie McCarthy/WireImage Elizabeth Chan and Mariah Carey
The court has sided with Elizabeth Chan in blocking Mariah Carey’s bid to be the sole “Queen of Christmas.”
Back in March 2021, the “Fantasy” singer, 53, filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office with hopes of legally marketing herself as the sole “Queen of Christmas,” CBS News reported in August.
After the bid was made public in July 2022, fellow singer Chan — who claims she also has ties to the “Queen of Christmas” name, had her attorney, Louis W. Tompros of Boston-based WilmerHale, file a formal declaration of opposition against Carey’s trademark claim.
On Tuesday, Chan announced the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board blocked Carey’s attempt of owning the exclusive rights to the title, along with her attempts to trademark “Princess Christmas” and “QOC.”
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“Christmas is a season of giving, not the season of taking, and it is wrong for an individual to attempt to own and monopolize a nickname like Queen of Christmas for the purposes of abject materialism,” Chan said in a press statement.
“As an independent artist and small business owner, my life’s work is to bring people together for the holiday season, which is how I came to be called the Queen of Christmas,” she continued. “I wear that title as a badge of honor and with full knowledge that it will be — and should be — bestowed on others in the future.”
Chan’s statement concluded: “My goal in taking on this fight was to stand up to trademark bullying not just to protect myself, but also to protect future Queens of Christmas.”
Carey — whose tune “All I Want for Christmas Is You” has become an iconic holiday staple — wanted to sell merchandise with the title, and also wished to use the name within her music, videos and other music-based entertainment.
In an interview with variety in August, Chan — who recently released her 12th Christmas album titled 12 Months of Christmas — spoke about her decision to pursue legal action and her opposition to Carey being the sole user of the “Queen of Christmas” moniker.
“Christmas has come way before any of us on earth, and hopefully will be around way after any of us on earth,” Chan told the publication. “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.”
“It’s not just about the music business,” she continued. “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.”
At the time, Darlene Love — who is known for her work on the holiday album A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector — and particularly for her classic, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” — expressed her opposition to Carey’s pray as well.
“Is it true that Mariah Carey trademarked ‘Queen of Christmas’?” Love asked in a Facebook post in August. “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,” she continued. “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!!”
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“All I Want for Christmas” was released on Carey’s Merry Christmas album in 1994, and was co-written and produced by the musician and Walter Afanasieff.”
It wasn’t until 25 years later, in 2019, that the song topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart at No. 1 for the first time, however.
Last year, the Christmas hit broke new ground as Carey received the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) Diamond Award for the song, making it the first holiday single to ever receive the coveted award.