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AP Article Highlights Christian-Themed Trademark "Parodies"

From Abercrombie & Fitch to “Abreadcrumb & Fish”?

One Christian marketing consultant calls it “Jesus junk.”

It’s Christianizing a famous logo — Taking IPOD and turning it into IPRAY.

It’s really called trademark infringement and trademark dilution. It’s not parody, which protects a speaker’s right to use a trademark when criticizing the trademark owner.

Last week, the Associated Press highlighted this issue, which sometimes has corporations stuck between enforcing their trademark rights and not wanting to alienate their Christian customers.

I offered a couple quotes from the perspective of a disinterested trademark attorney. 

“I think you have a real tension between the legal department and the PR department. (Large companies) are very sensitive to looking like they are anti-Christian, so they are very restrained in going after the wrongdoers.”

So what’s legal as parody?

“You could take Microsoft and change their logo around to make fun of Microsoft, and that would be legal. But I can’t use the Microsoft logo to promote my Christian theme because there’s no real connection there. That’s illegal.”

Interesting issue, which STL discussed a while back. It’s nice to see the mainstream press elevating it in the public’s consciousness.

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