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Who Owns the Juneteenth Trademark?

Updated: Jul 1, 2023



Who Owns the Juneteenth Trademark?


Juneteenth, a significant milestone in American history, commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. As this vital celebration gains widespread recognition and cultural significance, the question arises: Who owns the Juneteenth trademark?


In this article, we delve into the complexities surrounding the ownership of this symbolically powerful term and explore the various perspectives and legal considerations involved. In sum, the term has several pending applications and registrations by various owners in various classes listed below.


The Historical Roots of Juneteenth


To fully understand the significance of the Juneteenth trademark, it is crucial to recognize the historical origins of this commemoration.


On June 19, 1865, Union Army General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and proclaimed the end of slavery, over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.


Juneteenth has since become a symbol of freedom, resilience, and the ongoing fight for equality and justice for African Americans.


The Emergence of the Juneteenth Trademark


In recent years, Juneteenth has gained considerable prominence as a holiday celebrated across the United States.


As with any cultural phenomenon, there has been an increased interest in commercializing the term.


This led to the emergence of the Juneteenth trademark, as individuals and organizations sought to protect and capitalize on the rights associated with its usage.


Ownership Claims and Controversies


The ownership of the Juneteenth trademark is a matter of contention and controversy. While it is widely acknowledged that the term itself cannot be owned or copyrighted due to its historical and cultural significance, some entities have attempted to register trademarks related to Juneteenth for specific products or services.


All registration applications with “Juneteenth” are listed below.


These attempts have sparked debate and raised questions about the appropriateness of seeking exclusive rights over a symbol of liberation. Here are a few examples of controversies surrounding the Juneteenth trademark:

  1. Juneteenth ice cream from Walmart: The release of Walmart’s Juneteenth-themed ice cream, featuring a flavor developed by New York-based company Balchem, sparked outrage among Black Twitter users in 2022. Many individuals on social media expressed anger upon noticing the presence of a trademark symbol for Juneteenth on the product’s label, accusing both companies of attempting to capitalize on Black culture.

  2. Alleged trademark squatting: Individuals or entities have attempted to register various trademarks related to Juneteenth without a legitimate connection or purpose. Such actions are often seen as trademark squatting, where individuals or organizations try to profit from or control a term without any genuine claim or association. This type of activity has faced criticism for exploiting the historical importance of Juneteenth for personal gain.

Legal Considerations and Community Response


From a legal standpoint, the ownership of the Juneteenth trademark is complex. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has historically been cautious when granting trademarks for terms associated with historical events or cultural celebrations.


The USPTO has generally considered such terms part of the public domain and resistant to exclusive ownership.


Despite this, there have been instances where trademarks related to Juneteenth have been approved, leading to widespread backlash and calls for reevaluation.


As a response, some individuals and organizations have actively opposed these trademark registrations, highlighting the importance of preserving Juneteenth as a shared cultural heritage and preventing its commodification.


Community Efforts To Preserve Juneteenth


In response to the challenges surrounding the ownership of the Juneteenth trademark, various community efforts have emerged to preserve and protect the cultural significance of this commemoration.

  1. Grassroots movements: Grassroots organizations and activists have played a significant role in raising awareness and advocating for the non-commercialization of Juneteenth. Through social media campaigns, petitions, and community events, these grassroots movements have mobilized individuals to recognize and respect Juneteenth’s historical and cultural importance.

  2. Educational initiatives: Institutions and community organizations have taken proactive measures to educate the public about Juneteenth’s historical significance. They organize workshops, seminars, and exhibitions to provide accurate information and foster a deeper understanding of the emancipation of enslaved African Americans and the ongoing struggle for racial justice.

  3. Collaborative celebrations: Many communities have adopted a collective approach to celebrating Juneteenth, emphasizing unity and inclusivity. Collaborative celebrations involve partnerships between different organizations, businesses, and community members, ensuring that the commemoration remains a combined effort rather than a commercialized endeavor.

  4. Non-profit organizations: Non-profit organizations dedicated to preserving African-American history and culture have actively engaged in initiatives to protect Juneteenth’s legacy. They work towards raising awareness, conducting research, and advocating for policies that prevent Juneteenth’s exclusive ownership and commercialization.

These community efforts are crucial in ensuring that Juneteenth remains a symbol of freedom, empowerment, and historical remembrance. By fostering a sense of collective responsibility and promoting respectful engagement, these initiatives contribute to preserving Juneteenth’s cultural heritage.


Final Thoughts


The question of who owns the Juneteenth trademark raises complex issues related to historical significance, cultural heritage, and intellectual property rights.


While legal frameworks exist, there is an increasing recognition that symbols of historical events should be safeguarded from exclusive ownership and commercial exploitation.


Community efforts, grassroots movements, and educational initiatives have played a vital role in preserving Juneteenth’s cultural significance and promoting responsible engagement with this commemoration.


Promoting discourse and engaging in responsible practices surrounding Juneteenth is crucial as we move forward. Respectful usage of the term, without seeking exclusive ownership, fosters inclusivity and acknowledges the cultural significance it holds for African-Americans and the broader community.


By embracing the historical roots of Juneteenth and working collectively toward a more equitable future, we honor the legacy of the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans and strive for a society that upholds freedom, justice, and equality for all.


Join the Conversation


Juneteenth represents an opportunity for dialogue, education, and progress. Engage in online and offline conversations within your community to deepen your understanding of this historical event and its significance.


Let us come together to celebrate Juneteenth in a spirit of unity, empathy, and respect.


I’d be happy to help if you want to know more about your trademark legal rights! Reach out to me anytime at https://www.mdgrlaw.com/book-online or (754) 800-4481. I am located in Florida, but I can help anyone around the world with U.S. trademarks.




Juneteenth Trademark Applications


98016641

JUNETEENTH QUEEN COURT SCHOLARSHIP PAGEANT

97933325

WE CELEBRATE JUNE FOR JUNETEENTH

97421347

JUNETEENTH NYC EDUCATING · EMPOWERING · ENTERTAINING

97057116

JUNETEENTH LP

97137845

JUNETEENTH MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

97411697

MISS JUNETEENTH SCHOLARSHIP PAGEANTRY PROGRAM

97876409

JUNETEENTH STEPPERS STEPPIN EVENT

97808978

JUNETEENTH

97796373

ABC'S OF JUNETEENTH

97726924

JUNETEENTH GALVESTON EST. 1865 WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

97458059

BLACK MOMMA JUNETEENTH

97623766

JUNETEENTH JERSEYS

97565017

MISTER JUNETEENTH

97317754

ONE JUNETEENTH

97551526

JUNETEENTH

97521142

TRI-CITIES JUNETEENTH

97461247

JUNETEENTH MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

97442001

JUNETEENTH

97431709

JUNETEENTH

97428910

JUNETEENTH PEACE WALK

97425202

JUNETEENTH

97008500

JUNETEENTH

97083670

JUNETEENTH FESTIVAL

97286328

- JUNETEENTH LEGACY MOSAIC JUNE 19 1865 - JUNETEENTH BECOMES A FEDERAL HOLIDAY JUNE 17 2021 OFFICIALLY CALLED JUNETEENTH NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE DAY "WHAT HISTORY BOOKS FORGOT WE WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER!" EMANCIPATION DAY JUNE 19 1865 TEXAS SLAVES RECEIVE WORD THAT THEY ARE FREE GENERAL ORDER #3 READS IN PERTINENT PART: "PROCLAMATION FROM THE EXECUTIVE OF THE UNITED STATES. ALL SLAVES ARE FREE." BLACK INDEPENDENCE DAY THE NAME " JUNETEENTH" IS A BLEND OF THE MONTH OF "JUNE" AND THE DATE " NINETEENTH." GALVESTON TEXAS BIRTHPLACE OF JUNETEENTH ON JUNE 19 1865 TEXAS FIRST STATE TO RECOGNIZE JUNETEENTH JANUARY 1 1980 JUNETEENTH FIRST CELEBRATED ON JUNE 19 1866 JUBILEE DAY IN 1872 LAND BOUGHT IN HOUSTON TEXAS TO CELEBRATE JUNETEENTH NAMED EMANCIPATION PARK FAMILIES CELEBRATED! CHURCHES CELEBRATED! FREEDOM DAY

97286325

- JUNETEENTH LEGACY MOSAIC JUNE 19 1865 - JUNETEENTH BECOMES A FEDERAL HOLIDAY JUNE 17 2021 OFFICIALLY CALLED JUNETEENTH NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE DAY "WHAT HISTORY BOOKS FORGOT WE WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER!" EMANCIPATION DAY JUNE 19 1865 TEXAS SLAVES RECEIVE WORD THAT THEY ARE FREE GENERAL ORDER #3 READS IN PERTINENT PART: "PROCLAMATION FROM THE EXECUTIVE OF THE UNITED STATES. ALL SLAVES ARE FREE." BLACK INDEPENDENCE DAY THE NAME " JUNETEENTH" IS A BLEND OF THE MONTH OF "JUNE" AND THE DATE " NINETEENTH." GALVESTON TEXAS BIRTHPLACE OF JUNETEENTH ON JUNE 19 1865 TEXAS FIRST STATE TO RECOGNIZE JUNETEENTH JANUARY 1 1980 JUNETEENTH FIRST CELEBRATED ON JUNE 19 1866 JUBILEE DAY IN 1872 LAND BOUGHT IN HOUSTON TEXAS TO CELEBRATE JUNETEENTH NAMED EMANCIPATION PARK FAMILIES CELEBRATED! CHURCHES CELEBRATED! FREEDOM DAY

97292677

JUNETEENTH JOY

97292576

JUNETEENTH JOY

97286330

JUNETEENTH LEGACY MOSAIC JUNE 19 1865

90782135

JUNETEENTH JOY

90575981

JUNIOR MISS JUNETEENTH

90575971

TEEN MISS JUNETEENTH

90055085

JUNETEENTH IN JULY

90663747

JUNETEENTH UNITYFEST

90782179

JUNETEENTH JOY

90712155

JUNETEENTH EVERYDAY

90889733

THE LONG BEACH JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION

90904678

90768173

THE JUNETEENTH MARATHON

90788125

MISS JUNETEENTH OF GEORGIA

90755747

INDY JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION

90716583

JUNETEENTH

90716578

HAPPY JUNETEENTH

90785356

JUNE(TEA)NTH

90120550

JUNETEENTHRAP

90053188

JUNETEENTH: MARCH ON SENECA

90139642

JUNETEENTH365

90277638

JUNETEENTH FREEDOM FESTIVAL

90121802

JULY FORTH CELEBRATES OUR COUNTRIES FREEDOM. JUNETEENTH CELEBRATES OUR PEOPLE'S FREEDOM.

90030802

CINCINNATI JUNETEENTH

90010519

JUNETEENTH 1865





88885232

'FREE ·ISH JUNETEENTH

88915740

JUNETEENTH 1865

88520235

JUNETEENTH APPAREL

88662154

61 49 THE CROSSROADS CLARKSDALE JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION JUNE 19 2020

86784892

FINANCIAL JUNETEENTH

86410560

BIG POPPA JUNETEENTH

86769778

JUNETEENTH STRAWBERRY SODA

78332331

JUNETEENTH WORLD WIDE CELEBRATION

78315535

JUNETEENTH IN HONOR OF OUR ANCESTORS 1619-1865...DESPITE ALL WE STILL STAND STRONG.

78099510

JUNETEENTH WORLDWIDE CELEBRATION

78056504

JUNETEENTH MAGAZINE

78049622

JUNETEENTH

76153287

JUNETEENTH

75929164

JUNETEENTH JAMBALAYA

75863355

JUNETEENTH FESTIVAL

75640913

3RD ANNUAL JUNETEENTH FESTIVAL OF NEW WORKS: A CULTURAL CELEBRATION OF EMANCIPATION!

75346413

THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF JUNETEENTH LINEAGE

74680087

ANNUAL JUNETEENTH BLUES FESTIVAL

74570623

JUNETEENTH AUDIO BOOKS




Legal Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. For specific legal concerns or questions regarding trademarks, it is advisable to consult with a qualified attorney.


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