The Trademarking Of Trayvon Martin: A Sad Statement Of Our Times
from the this-is-not-the-way-things-should-work dept
As a bunch of folks have been sending in, it appears that Trayvon Martin’s mother has applied for two trademarks related to Trayvon: “Justice for Trayvon” and “I Am Trayvon.” The Trayvon Martin story, of course, has captured the the nation’s interest in a big way (even if it took some time), and is a truly tragic story. There are all sorts of important discussions to be had in response to what happened, and I never thought that intellectual property would ever even enter the conversation, but it’s a sad statement of our times that anytime something “happens”, people feel the need to rush out and get their government granted monopolies. Last month, it was the excitement around Linsanity, and this month it’s the tragedy around Trayvon.
It really does reflect poorly on the state of intellectual property law today that this is what people feel compelled to do.
That said, I still don’t understand why she’s applying for these marks, or even if the marks are valid. A lawyer for the family makes it clear that she’s not looking to make money from the marks, which raises the rather simple question of how they are being “used in commerce” for the sake of a trademark. Separately, you don’t need to register for a trademark to have a trademark — so if the point is just to stop others from profiting off the name, there are ways to do that. But, frankly, why should trademark enter into this discussion at all?