Rihanna caused fan fury on social media on Monday with reports that her team filed a trademark application for “FENTY ESTATES WINE AND SPIRITS COMPANY,” spawning talk that the superstar is expanding her brand to include liquor. The only discrepancy: It was not Rihanna's team that filed the application. Unlike the vast majority – if not all – of Rihanna’s existing trademark rights and pending applications, which are held by Roraj Trade, the new application was filed by JGC GLOBAL LLC.
In addition to filing for “FENTY ESTATES WINE AND SPIRITS COMPANY” last month, JGC GLOBAL, a Delaware-based company, filed to register four other liquor-related trademark. They are for “BAMBU DISTILLING CO.,” “LEGINS,” “7 JOKERS,” and “LEGINS DISTILLING CO.”
It seems that for now, Rihanna fans will have to revel in her new beauty venture, as wine and spirits simply are not on the table yet.
As for whether JGC GLOBAL - an unknown company based in Delaware - will be given the green light by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") to register its proposed "Fenty" mark, it seems like a very real possibility. As of now, there are not any markedly similar registrations and in fact, the only trademark registration that makes use of the name "Fenty" is one for "FENTY VOZ INTERIOR," which is held by Monica Alejandra Bribesca and does not appear to be affiliated with Rihanna.
Surprisingly, Rihanna does not hold any federal trademark registrations covering her last name. That does not mean that her legal team could not file to oppose the trademark that is central to JGC GLOBAL's application because before a trademark may be registered with the USPTO (and enforced by a trademark holder on a nationwide basis as a federally registered mark, as opposed to on a state-by-state basis for common law marks), a number of requirements must be satisfied. For instance, the mark must be published for opposition in the Official Gazette, a weekly publication of the USPTO.
After the mark is published, any party who believes it may be damaged by registration of the mark has thirty days from the publication date to file either an opposition to registration or a request to extend the time to oppose. If no opposition is filed or if an opposition is unsuccessful, the application enters the next stage of the registration process.