Intellectual Property Law

New Matter FALL 2023, VOLUME 48, EDITION 3


Jane Shay Wald

Irell & Manella LLP

"Boys World" For A Musical Group Jumped Through An Additional Hoop To Show Its Name Was A Musical Source Of Its Recordings, It Won (Of Course!)

The Board reversed the Examining Attorney’s refusal to register the mark BOYS WORLD for audio recordings featuring music. Applicant apparently holds the rights to the name of a very popular musical "girl group" that is sometimes referred to as "the Gen Z Spice Girls." The nature of its relationship with the BOYS WORLD mark was not developed in the record. In footnote 7, the Board brushed off the Examining Attorney’s argument that the record does not show "unambiguous use of the mark" because BOYS WORLD was formed by KYN Entertainment, identified in copyright notices as an owner of certain BOYS WORLD recordings. Said the Board: "This argument is not well-taken because, as the Federal Circuit pointed out in Polar Music, a trademark ‘need not be the name of the manufacturer of the goods and the public need not know the name of the owner of the mark.’" Moreover, ‘the public need not know [KYN Entertainment’s] role." In re Polar Music Int’l AB, 221 USPQ 315, 317 (Fed. Cir. 1983).

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