Alexandria, VA – Kanye West foreshadowed in his 2005 song “Bring Me Down” he always knew people would stand in the way of his ascent. The billionaire business magnate is now facing a legal dispute from Walmart over his attempt to trademark his fashion logo, which the corporation claims looks like their own, according to The Fashion Law.
The legal counsel for Kanye’s company, Yeezy LLC, filed a trademark application for a stylized sunray graphic logo to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office based in Alexandria, Virginia in January 2020.
“The mark consists of eight dotted lines, each comprising three totally shaded circles, with a total of 24 circles, arranged at equal angles as rays from a sun,” Yeezy LLC stated in the mark description of the application. The logo is intended for use in clothing and retail store services, musical sound recordings and streaming, hotel services, construction of “non-metal modular homes” and more.
After the application went public last December, Walmart filed a notice of opposition (NOO) with Trademark Trial and Appeal Board on April 21. The world’s largest retailer argues the Yeezy graphic traces the logo on its own long list of similar products and services “since at least 2007” and will cause confusion between the company’s customers, per Walmart’s file.
“It will be damaged by registration of [Yeezy LLC’s] mark,” Walmart contends in the notice. “A design of six rays symmetrically centered around a circle,” which Walmart consistently uses “can be found prominently featured on the exterior and interior signage of its more than 5,000 retail outlets, through the e-commerce platform www.walmart.com, which has the second largest e-commerce market share in the U.S., and throughout its nationwide television commercials, including commercials aired during the Super Bowl.”
Walmart said its mark “has become well known and famous as a distinctive indicator of the origin of its goods and services and a symbol of its goodwill.” Ye’s legal team has until May 31 to answer Walmart’s opposition in court.
Kanye has been caught in several legal battles in the past. His Sunday Service choir of nearly 1,000 members filed two class-action lawsuits for $30 million against him in January alleging missed payments for their labor hours during their performances with him.
In March 2020, Toki Sen-I Co. had its $600,000 lawsuit against Kanye’s record label G.O.O.D. Music and his Yeezy Apparel company dismissed after claiming he never paid for the Japanese fabric supplier’s fleece fabric delivered to his camp.
The year prior, Kanye and JAY-Z’s TIDAL streaming service settled out of court for an undisclosed amount after they were hit by an $84 million lawsuit by a fan named Justin Baker-Rhett. He claimed to have been duped when the “No More Parties” rapper tweeted his 2016 album The Life Of Pablo will “never be on Apple” to download or stream as it was initially released exclusively on TIDAL, but ended later ended up on Apple after Baker-Rhett bought TLOP.