Fact Check: Company With White Leaders Does NOT Own Trademark For 'Juneteenth' -- But It DID File Application For Trademark

Fact Check

  • by: Christiana Dillard
Fact Check: Company With White Leaders Does NOT Own Trademark For 'Juneteenth' -- But It DID File Application For Trademark Dead Trademark

Does Balchem Corporation, a company with white leadership, own a trademark of the word "Juneteenth"? No, that's not true: Although Balchem submitted an application to trademark the word, that application was dead by the time this claim was made. Juneteenth is a federal holiday that recognizes the emancipation of all enslaved Black people in the United States.

The claim appeared in a Facebook post on May 25, 2022. The post includes a "Trademark Overview" of the word "Juneteenth" and several pictures of Balchem's leadership. The caption reads:

JUNETEENTH has been trademarked and is owned by Balchem Corporation. I've taken the liberty of attaching a list of their board members. As you can tell from their profile picture... I said this was coming. I posted about it last year. This fuckn Country makes me sick to my stomach!!!!🤬
#profitoffofpain

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

juneteenth owned FB post.png

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu May 26 14:35:48 2022 UTC)

The trademark application submitted by Balchem for the word "Juneteenth," which has the serial number 97008500, can be found within the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's trademark database. Although another social media post discussing the claim shows screenshots of when the trademark application was "Live," the status of the trademark application is listed as "Dead" at the time of writing. It was abandoned on May 23, 2022, two days before the post in this fact check was published. The stated purpose for the trademark was "Flavor enhancers used in food and beverage products; Bakery goods and dessert items, namely, cakes, cookies, pastries, and frozen confections for retail and wholesale distribution and consumption on or off the premises excluding candies and popcorn."

A screenshot from the trademark database about the "Juneteenth" trademark application is included below:

juneteenth trademark dead.png
(Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office screenshot taken on Thu May 26 14:37:37 2022 UTC)

The trademark application was seemingly brought to public attention after Walmart was criticized for developing and selling ice cream named "Juneteenth" under its Great Value brand. The ice cream included red velvet and cheesecake flavors. Walmart apologized for the product launch.

There are other live trademark applications or registrations that use the word "Juneteenth." One of them is from the Black-owned company Celeplated, formerly known as eBashBox, which has a live trademark for the word "Juneteenth." The trademark application, which has a serial number of 90716583, has a stated purpose of being used for "Paper plates; Paper and plastic cups; Plastic plates." A screenshot from the trademark database about the trademark application is included below:

juneteenth live trademark.png

(Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office screenshot taken on Thu May 26 17:47:31 2022 UTC)

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  Christiana Dillard

Christiana Dillard is a former news writer for Temple University’s Lew Klein College of Media and Communication. She received her undergraduate degree in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been a freelance writer for several organizations including the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, Pitt Magazine, and The Heinz Endowments. When she’s not producing or studying media she’s binging it, watching YouTube videos or any interesting series she can find on streaming services.

Read more about or contact Christiana Dillard

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