Walmart has filed a notice of opposition with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office arguing that a 2020 trademark application filed by Kanye West’s YEEZY company contains a logo that is so similar to that of the multinational retail corporation that it is likely to cause confusion.
According to the original trademark application, West intended to use the logo for clothing and retail store services, musical sound recordings and streaming, hotel services, and the construction of “non-metal modular homes,” among other things. The design in question features “eight dotted lines, each comprising three totally shaded circles, with a total of 24 circles, arranged at equal angles as rays from a sun.”
It shares some pretty obvious similarities to Walmart’s logo, which consists of six yellow rays symmetrically positioned in a circle to resemble a spark. They argue that YEEZY’s use and registration of their sun design logo “is likely to cause confusion, mistake, and deception as to the source or origin of Applicant’s [YEEZY] goods and services and potentially create a false affiliation with Opposer’s [Walmart] Mark which will injure and damage Opposer and the goodwill contained within Opposer’s Mark.”
There’s plenty of potential space for confusion. For example, Walmart has used its logo “on musical source recordings that are highly related and directly overlapping with the Class 9 goods identified in [YEEZY LLC’s] application,” as well as to sell apparel, accessories, and retail services. On top of that, the retailer also frequently “partners with celebrities to create special lines of products and services,” and also “utilizes notable pop culture references to promote [its] goods and services.”
From Walmart’s perspective, “there is no issue of priority” considering they used the mark as early as 2007, a whole 13 years before YEEZY filed the trademark application.