Mariah Carey is an international pop superstar and Grammy Award winner whose Christmas hit, “All I Want for Christmas is You,” tops the Billboard charts every year, including taking the no. 1 spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for the last four years (2022 included).1 According to Celebrity Net Worth, every December, Mariah Carey earns between $600,000 and $1.2 million in royalties from the song.2 No one can deny that Mariah Carey’s song is a smash hit and that together with her “Merry Christmas” and “Merry Christmas ll You” albums and Christmas specials, Mariah Carey has become synonymous with the holiday season. After Halloween, she posts “It’s Time!” on social media to announce the arrival of the Christmas season and excite her fans, promoting a streaming frenzy of “All I Want for Christmas is You”.3
In 2021, Mariah (through her company Lotion, LLC) filed applications with the U.S. Trademark Office to register QUEEN OF CHRISTMAS, QOC (short for QUEEN OF CHRISTMAS), and PRINCESS CHRISTMAS for music and merchandise.4 The Trademark Office approved the applications, but the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruled against Mariah Carey’s attempts to register the marks following opposition brought by singer Elizabeth Chan, dubbed the “Queen of Christmas” by The New Yorker in 2018“5. Chan also uses the name on music and merchandise. Chan argued that Lotion, LLC should not have exclusive rights to the mark QUEEN OF CHRISTMAS. Mariah Carey did not answer the oppositions and default judgments were entered against her.
Takeaway: Mariah Carey can call herself the “Queen of Christmas”, but she can’t prevent anyone else from doing so. Elizabeth Chan can also call herself the “Queen of Christmas”. And so, too, can Darlene Love, who performed her holiday classic “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” annually on The Late Show with David Letterman for nearly three decades and was referred to by Letterman as the “Queen of Christmas”.
4A fourth application was filed for CHRISTMAS PRINCESS, but this application was not opposed and is still pending
in the Trademark Office. The mark will proceed to registration once proof of use is filed.