LeBron James has filed formal documents to oppose a trademark application for “KING JAMES” that was filed by Carnival Cruise Lines.
LeBron’s company, LBJ Trademarks, filed the formal opposition with the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) on November 18.
The opposition stops in its tracks a trademark application filed by Carnival Cruise Lines back in August 2019. This application was filed in a way that you would expect to see if the cruise company was planning to launch a new cruise ship named King James. It includes a claim for cruise services, as well as a claim for sports facilities and recreational sports events, which likely caught LeBron’s eye.
LeBron’s November complaint has two main causes of action. The first is that if Carnival were to move forward with using a “KING JAMES” trademark, it could create a false connection with LeBron James. The second is that “King James” is the nickname of a living individual, and therefore, without LeBron’s consent, it would be against USPTO rules to register the trademark.
At this point, Carnival has 40 days to file an answer with the USPTO’s TTAB. The trial calendar in these cases typically go out two years, though they often settle without going through a full trial and getting to a judgement.