Erica Simone /
15 January 2015Trademarks

US application filed for ‘Je suis Charlie’

A trademark application for ‘Je suis Charlie’ has now been filed in the US, following similar bids across Europe.

The application, according to the US Patent and Trademark Office, seeks to “promote charitable giving”.

The applicants, named as Santa Monica-based Steven Stanwyck and Kelly Ashton, have applied to register the mark for advertising and communications services, in class 35.

Since last week there have been numerous attempts to trademark the term, which was popularised in the aftermath of an attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Gunmen killed 12 people in the attack.

The attack prompted thousands of Paris residents to pour onto the streets to proclaim the message ‘Je suis Charlie’ (I am Charlie). The slogan was also used widely online and elsewhere around the world.

Earlier this week, WIPR reported that a trademark application for the term had been filed at the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property, which administers trademarks and designs for Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

It then emerged that France’s IP office, the National Institute of Industrial Property, had rejected 50 trademark applications for the phrase because “they do not meet the criterion of distinctive character”.

“This slogan cannot be picked up by an economic actor because of its wide use by the community,” France’s IP office said.

Stanwyck, who is listed as the attorney of record for the US application, has been contacted for comment.

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More on this story

14 January 2015   France’s IP office has rejected 50 trademark applications for ‘Je suis Charlie’ since the terrorist attacks that shook the country.
13 January 2015   A trademark application for ‘Je suis Charlie’, the phrase popularised in the wake of last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris, has been filed at the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property.