Power to the people

"The Gershwins' Porgy And Bess" Broadway Opening Night - Arrivals & Curtain CallSome cases are bound to fail. According to Emmett Benjamin of House of Christ Temple Divine, director Spike Lee infringes its trademark rights by choosing for ‘Chiraq’ as the title of his latest film.

‘Chiraq’ is a word used by this religious movement and according to Benjamin the use of this word by Spike Lee poses a threat to his work. Moreover, this word should belong to the people of Chicago. Chiraq was “coined by young men and women in the streets of Chicago living in the battle zone with the police and sometimes other gangs and other people”, according to Benjamin.

So, how to respond to this? First of all, if the word belongs to the people of Chicago, why did Benjamin register the word itself as a trademark? Common words do not need protection through trademark law, which grants exclusive rights. And what similarity exists between a tile of a movie and a religious movement?

So, we wonder whether we will hear anything further from this case.

Source: Bloomberg

Arnaud Bos

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