Tis The Season To Be Litigious

Mariah Carey Is Officially *Not* The “Queen of Christmas”

The singer attempted to trademark the phrase but was denied by the The U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

Mariah Carey performs during the opening show of Mariah Carey: All I Want For Christmas Is You at Be...
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc/Getty Images

If you haven’t perfected your Christmas music playlist with Mariah Carey’s infamous Christmas anthem — “All I Want For Christmas Is You” — you are doing the holiday season all wrong, IMHO.

Carey has leaned into her role as the “Queen of Christmas” for decades now with her legendary Christmas song that debuted back in 1994. The song has continually made its way back onto current music charts every season because it’s just that catchy.

The track has become an iconic piece of pop culture, selling 10 million copies — the first holiday track to ever do so — with Carey making more than $60 million in royalties. Cha-ching!

So, when Carey applied for the exclusive right to use the phrase "Queen of Christmas,” it was a shock to most that she was denied. However, once learning the details of Carey’s application, the idea gets a little less holly jolly and a little more greedy.

If Carey would have succeeded with her ask, the singer would have been able to sue anyone for using the phrase. She also could send any media outlet a cease and desist if they claimed any other person the "Queen of Christmas."

So, how could the woman behind the whistle tones in such a holiday bop be denied? Well, there were other people in play that made it difficult for the R&B superstar to claim her holiday throne and sue the pants off anyone else who tried to come for it.

Elizabeth Chan, known as the world's only full-time Christmas recording artist, blocked Carey's attempt to trademark. Chan, who also is known for a hit Christmas track each year, released an album titled Queen of Christmas in 2013.

In the wake of Carey's trademark filing, Chan's attorney has filed a formal declaration of opposition. Chan believes that Christmas is a holiday for everyone, and no one has a right to own it.

“Christmas has come way before any of us on Earth, and hopefully will be around way after any of us on Earth,” Chan told Variety. “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.”

Chan called out Carey for taking this opportunity to rake in even more dollars during her high-earning season.

“And it's not just about the music business,” added Chan. “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.”

Singer Darlene Love, most known for her classic Christmas song — "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” — also had words for Ms. Carey.

Love expressed her not-so-fuzzy feelings on Facebook as well as threatened legal action against Carey and her team.

“Is it true that Mariah Carey trademarked ‘Queen of Christmas’?” Love asked. “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. 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!!”

To be fair to Carey, what large company or brand hasn’t tried to squeeze every ounce of capitalism out of the holiday season? Most stores start putting up their Christmas decor in October!

From Christmas movie reboots to every singer under the sun trying to pull off what Mariah Carey and Michael Bublé have perfected with Christmas albums, can you blame her for trying to monetize her the legendary song?

Carey has not yet made a statement after the denied attempt to trademark the phrase.