Thursday, 03 December 2020 13:54

Game Time: LeBron James v. Carnival’s “King James” Trademark Application

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On November 18, LeBron James, the famous professional Basketball legend who is a key star player for the LA Lakers (and previously the Cleavland Caveliers and Miami Heat), filed a Notice of Opposition at the USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board against Carnival’s “KING JAMES” mark.

 

Why would LeBron James file this opposition for a mark used in connection with “cruise ship services” and filed last year?  Perhaps because the mark is also in connection with Class 41 services: “providing sports facilities; organizing of sports competitions and sports events; providing facilities for recreational activities; . . . providing facilities for recreation” and Class 35 identification: “sport bags, gym bags, sports bags, . . . gymnastics and sporting articles.”  See U.S. Trademark Application No. 88/588,812. 

 

LeBron James’s Complaint has two causes of actions: (1) “False Suggestion of Connection with LeBron James” and (2) “Trademark Consist of a Name Identifying a Living Individual.”  LeBron James alleges that “”King James” has been a well-known nickname of LeBron James for many years, well preceding the date Applicant filed its application. The media and basketball fans consistently refer to LeBron James as “King James”, and LeBron James’ Twitter handle is actually @KingJames. King James has therefore become a popular nickname of LeBron James, and is used interchangeably with LeBron Jame.”  See Opposition No. 91266024 [TTABVUE 1].  It is worth noting that LeBron James does not currently hold a U.S. Trademark Registration for “KING JAMES.” 

On November 26, Carnival withdrew its Application for “KING JAMES” “with prejudice.” This means that Carnival will not be allowed to refile an application for the mark “KING JAMES” in the future.  See Opposition No. 91266024 [TTABVUE 4]. 

Read 277 times Last modified on Thursday, 03 December 2020 14:00
Emily Mola

Ms. Mola earned her Bachelor’s degree in History, magna cum laude, from the Florida International University, and a Juris Doctor degree and Certificate in Intellectual Property Law from the Florida International University, College of Law. While at FIU Law, she served as the President of the Intellectual Property Student Association. As a result of her dedication to intellectual property law, she earned three CALI Excellence for the Future Awards in focused academic coursework. Ms. Mola is the recipient of the International Trademark Association’s 2020 Ladas Memorial Award for her article, Trademark Law’s Capability to Protect Traditional Cultural Expressions from Unauthorized Borrowing and Theft. Ms. Mola is a 2018 Microsoft/Hispanic National Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Legal Institute scholar.