NEW YORK (Reuters) - In her 2008 smash hit “Single Ladies,” Beyonce sang of telling a jealous ex-boyfriend that if he had wanted to commit to their relationship, he should have “put a ring on it.”
Now Beyonce is telling a Texas company selling stuff online bearing the name “Feyonce” to put a lid on it.
Beyonce, one of the world’s most famous and influential pop stars, on Tuesday sued to stop the sale of dozens of shirts, sweaters, tank tops, hoodies and even coffee mugs bearing the “Feyonce” name, which she calls too close to her own trademarked name.
In a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court, Beyonce accused Feyonce Inc and three individuals, all from San Antonio, of “brazenly” selling infringing “Feyonce” merchandise at their website.
Among the items is a $14.95 mug with the phrase “he put a ring on it,” which Beyonce said was intended to call to mind the lyrics of “Single Ladies.”
Beyonce, 34, who is married to rapper Jay Z and has won Grammy awards as a solo artist and with Destiny’s Child, said the sale of Feyonce knockoffs confuses consumers and causes her irreparable harm, and that the defendants have ignored her requests to stop.
She also said one defendant, Andre Maurice, has gone so far as to file two U.S. trademark applications for “Feyonce,” with and without the accent over the “e.”
“Defendants adopted the Feyonce mark to call to mind Beyonce and her famous song,” the lawsuit said. “Defendants’ conduct described herein is intentional, fraudulent, malicious, willful and wanton.”
Beyonce’s lawsuit also seeks unspecified damages.
It is unclear whether the defendants have lawyers. Maurice, speaking by phone, declined to comment, saying he had yet to review the lawsuit.
Beyonce’s law firm, Pryor Cashman, declined further comment.
The case is Knowles-Carter et al v. Maurice et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 16-02532.
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Sandra Maler
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.