Walmart and Kanye West’s streetwear brand YEEZY are in a circle of tension following an attempt by the latter to trademark a sun ray symbol.
YEEZY sent in an application to trademark an emblem with “eight dotted lines, each comprising three totally shaded circles, with a total of 24 circles, arranged at equal angles as rays from a sun” to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) earlier this year, according to Walmart’s argument, picked up by The Fashion Law. The fashion label hopes the symbol can be applied on clothing, retail store services, music-themed products, hotel services, “non-metal modular homes,” and more, the publication noted.
Walmart wouldn’t have it, since the YEEZY graphic is apparently reminiscent of its own “well-known and famous” logo of “six rays symmetrically centered around a circle,” which has been in use since 2007. Walmart added that its sun ray image has been a “distinctive indicator” of the company, and that its brand would be “damaged” if YEEZY’s version ended up being approved.
Furthermore, Walmart said it has sold YEEZY’s goods before, so both of their logos have been placed in close proximity to each other. For example, Walmart’s sun ray mark had been applied “on musical source recording that are highly related and directly overlapping with the Class 9 goods identified in [Yeezy LLC’s] application,” in addition to material promoting YEEZY apparel and accessories. YEEZY’s use of a similar mark could, therefore, breed confusion and “lead to consumer deception” that its goods or services have been endorsed by or are associated with Walmart.
Walmart also pointed out that it frequently collaborates with celebrities to launch limited-edition product ranges, which could make YEEZY’s sun ray mark all the more confusing.
Walmart’s logo (left) VS YEEZY’s mark (right). Images via Walmart Apollo, LLC / USPTO and Yeezy LLC / USPTO