Queen B

Beyoncé Is Suing a San Antonio Company for Trademark Infringement

Feyonce, meet the Beygency.

By Sarah Rufca Nielsen April 11, 2016

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When you're Beyoncé, your life is a series of people (like Ed McMahon) trying and failing to pronounce your name correctly. Writers make fun of it, because it's different (it was inspired by her mother's maiden name, Beyince). Is it any wonder that "Say My Name" became one of her earliest hits? 

Despite the haters, you're Beyoncé, so you work your way up to the top, until your name is an instantly-recognizable global phenomenon. You trademark it. And then someone knocks it off to sell tank tops.

Feyonce racerback pink xdfru2

A Feyoncé tank top

A search of "Beyoncé shirt" brings up countless images of sellers cribbing her image, her lyrics and her swag to sell goods. But it looks like one San Antonio business went to far for Queen B. According to Reuters, Beyoncé has filed suit against Feyonce Inc., an online business selling tees, tanks and mugs emblazoned with "Feyonce" in text colors and fonts that mimic those used by the singer. The suit points to a mug that reads "he put a ring on it" as evidence that the brand is trading on her name and likeness.

I had never heard of Feyonce before, but my first instinct after hearing about the suit was to buy one of their $20 tanks. (Sorry Beyoncé, but I love puns, and you're only engaged once.) Actually the No. 1 reason stopping me from monetarily supporting this business is that I could knock off the knockoff cheaper myself. I mean, who's fault is it that Beyoncé's name rhymes with the proper phonetic pronunciation of fiancée? We're all just supposed to let that genius piece of millennial marketing go to waste?

Legally Bey has an airtight case—no one looking at the Feyonce merch could fail to identify it as inspired by Beyoncé's own trademarked products and artistic output—but morally it's in a grey area next to downloading "Formation" illegally rather than buying it on iTunes and pressuring songwriters to give you credit

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