ONLY in America? US actor and director Tyler Perry has won a long trademark battle for the phrase What Would Jesus Do, defeating a reality television series star who sought to use the trademark for a Christian reality show.
The result ends a long and bitter court battle between the actor-director and Kim ‘Poprah’ Kearney, a reality TV star best known for an appearance of I Want To Work For Diddy on VH1.
Kearney had filed for the trademark of What Would Jesus Do in January 2008 order to make a Christian reality series.
Then in May of that year Tyler Perry Studios filed to secure the same trademark in order to use it for films, musicals and television series, according to The Guardian.
Perry’s work has been praised by Oprah Winfrey,
The origins of the English phrase’s popular usage can be traced to an 1896 book by minister Charles Sheldon, spreading like catchy, evangelical wildfire a century later across sermons and accessories including wristbands and even teddy bears in the 1990s. It apparently wasn’t until 2008 that someone thought to register this soul-searching moral imperative as a mark for entertainment
No, Tyler Perry did not coin this phrase. (Nor did Kearney.) But evidently, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, that doesn’t matter.