There is nothing immoral or disparging in the name of our organization. What is immoral is denial of the truth, What is immoral is silencing critics of oppression, subjugation and slaughter. What is immoral is the violation of our first amendment rights. The case against the islamization of America is manifest in every country where the sharia and islamization has taken hold.
Truth is feared and reviled.
United States – "The dangers of disparagement when seeking trademark protection" By John van der Luit-Drummond, World Trademark Review
September 24 2013
Islamophobia and Islamisation are hot-button topics and a group that has previously ran provocative advertisements
in the New York City subway has hit out at the USPTO after it concluded
that its trademark was disparaging to American Muslims. The dispute
highlights the ever-developing issue of immoral, scandalous and
The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), led by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer,
previously filed a trademark application for their anti-sharia law
campaign known as "Stop Islamisation of America" (SIOA). The USPTO
rejected the application, concluding that the
trademark was disparaging
to American Muslims. A subsequent appeal to the Trademark Trial and
Appeal Board (TTAB) affirmed
the USPTO decision, finding that the mark conveyed “that the conversion
or conformance to Islam must be stopped in order to prevent the
intimidating threats and violence associated with terrorism”.
The American Freedom Law Center
(AFLC) has asked the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to
overturn the denial of the AFDI’s trademark application, and alleges
that political correctness favouring Islam is behind the denial of their
trademark application. David Yerushalmi,
senior counsel of the AFLC, says that the term ‘Islamisation’ does not
refer to the mere conversion of someone to Islam, but what they believe
to be the more sinister implementation of sharia law. Geller told WTR
that the mark is not disparaging and that: “The USPTO should have no
authority to judge such things. Doing so involves it taking political
sides, which it should never do. We want to trademark the name so that
we can have control over who uses it, and to forestall attempts by foes
of our work to discredit us by using the name in connection with
something unacceptable to us, trying to associate us with something done
using our name but without our authorisation.” Asked whether she could
accept the SIOA mark could offend some people she replied: “So if
someone is offended by some trademark, that trademark should be
withdrawn? Offense is subjective.”
While cited as a relatively uncommon reason for trademark denial, the
USPTO is occasionally faced with the possibility that a potential
trademark contains “immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter”, or may
disparage, or bring into contempt or disrepute, persons, institutions,
beliefs, or national symbols – marks for which registration is
prohibited. In this instance, the TTAB concluded that “applicants’ mark
used in connection with their services would be disparaging to a
substantial composite of Muslims in America”.
Each trademark application is examined according to its particular
circumstances (the USPTO does not provide comment on specific
applications) and so it will be in this instance, but the dispute does
highlight an important consideration when applying for marks. So what
can be done to avoid a trademark being deemed disparaging? Ensuring that
there is evidence to argue your case with the USPTO is key, such as in
the case of lesbian motorcycle group “Dykes on Bikes”.
The group submitted hundreds of pages of additional material to prove
the mark did not disparage lesbians after the USPTO twice rejected their
application. The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) helped provide declarations from linguists, sociologists and psychologists
as to the history and meaning of the word ‘dyke’. They showed that the
lesbian community had taken back the term; reinventing it as one of
pride and empowerment and not to stigmatise lesbian sexuality.
However, there are examples where a well-documented argument against a mark being disparaging will still fail with the USPTO. The Asian-American band The Slants
tried trademarking their name in 2010. The USPTO deemed it to be of a
derogatory nature towards Asian people. A 2012 appeal was rejected
leaving the band with no way to protect its name. (Somewhat ironically
the band works with fans to empower the Asian community and overcome
discrimination.) The Slants are once again appealing the decision.
International treaties such as the Paris Convention
also allow for the prohibition of trademarks that are contrary to
morality or public order, so the USPTO is not alone in its regulations.
For all trademark counsel, a consideration of context and connotations
In-depth analysis of the issues surrounding immoral, scandalous and
disparaging trademarks will be presented in the next issue of WTR.