Skooter reports 02/26/13
An Italian apparel company that owns the trademark on the name “” is cracking down on U.S. apparel companies that wants to use their brand name. In 2007 the company, called Jesus Jeans, convinced the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to allow them to register the word "Jesus" as a trademark, giving them exclusive rights in the U.S. to the name.
The name “Jesus” is exclusively owned by the company as a trademark only, but it does not refer on the image of Christianity's central figure. So from that time on, Jesus Jeans has launched a campaign against at least a dozen U.S. companies marketing Jesus-themed apparel, a majority of which are start-up clothing lines. Its litigators assert the companies are marketing the name “Jesus” without the trademark owner’s permission.
The company’s attorneys argued that their trademark is similar to the trademark owned by Nike, whose namesake is the winged goddess of victory.
Domenico Sindico, the general counsel for intellectual property for Jesus Jean’s parent company BasicNet said that if somebody, small church or even a big church, wants to use 'Jesus' for printing a few T-shirts, they don't care. When other clothing companies attempt to use their trademark for profit, Sindico says the company is concerned.
In 1999, BasicNet first applied for a "Jesus" trademark registration. It was granted the trademark eight years later. The said company has tried to apply for the same trademark “Jesus” in various other countries around the world, however a majority of the applications have been rejected.