United Kingdom

George Floyd's family applies to trademark his name

The family of George Floyd have applied to trademark a foundation in his name to support victims of police brutality. 

According to TMZ, Floyd's brother, Philonise recently a submitted an application to trademark the phrase, 'The George Floyd Foundation.'

If it's approved, the Floyd family will be able to use it to educate the public about police reform and to support families who've fallen victim to police brutality.

The trademark approval would also give the family flexibility to sell branded merchandise with the phrase. 

The family of George Floyd (pictured) have applied to trademark a foundation in his name to support victims of police brutality

Floyd's brother, Philonise (pictured on Wednesday) recently a submitted an application to trademark the phrase, 'The George Floyd Foundation.' If it's approved, the Floyd family will be able to use it to educate the public and support families who've fallen victim to police brutality

According to TMZ, the family is looking to put The George Floyd Foundation on downloadable software for mobile phones. 

The software would feature documentaries about George and other audio and video files. Downloadable documents and PDFs with information about police reform would also be available.   

The move comes just days after a man named Munemo Mushonga filed to trademark the use of Floyd’s name in Hollywood projects.  

According to legal documents, obtained by TMZ, Mushonga's applications says he wants to use Floyd's name in the 'production and distribution of television shows and movies'.

It appeared that Mushonga was looking to capitalize off of the Black Lives Matter movement and the death of Floyd at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer on May 25 because he doesn't have any known connections to the Floyd family. 

But the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is strict regarding trademarks on names. 

The USPTO doesn't usually allow trademarks for people's names unless the person gives permission and the is a part of a unique and widely recognized brand.  

And because the Black Lives Matter movement went global following Floyd's death, with protests erupting in several countries, a British businessman has applied to trademark the phrases 'Black Lives Matter' and 'I Can't Breathe'.  

Georgios Demetriou, 57, from Manchester, was slammed for submitting the applications on June 6.

Demetriou is the founder of License to Thrill, which has operated the online bicycle store Ridelow in Manchester since May 2000.

He claims that the trademarks will be for 'charitable work', though he has been accused of attempting to exploit the BLM movement after admitting he will charge others royalty fees if people use either phrase.

Both applications are for clothing while the 'I Can't Breathe' trademark is also intended for charity wristbands. 

Georgios Demetriou, 57, from Manchester, is attempting to trademark the phrases 'Black Lives Matter' and 'I Can't Breathe'

Speaking to World Trademark Review, Demetriou said that he intends for the two trademarks to be used for 'a charity to help the inner-city kids in Manchester', 

His plan, he claims, is to launch two organizations – 'Black Lives Matter' with a focus on education, and 'I Can't Breathe' as a 'a voice for the young people'. 

Demetriou says that, while he hasn't sought permission from Floyd's family, he would 'be open' to working with them. 

He said: 'If I can encompass the Floyd family, such as helping his daughter, brilliant – but I don't think I'll have the power to do that as I don't think the family will be interested in me.'

Demetriou has owner Ride Low for 20 years and has a masters degree in Philosophy 

Demetriou's attempts were brought to the attention of social media users by Cllr Pav Akhtar, who is a councillor for Preston.

He tweeted a photo of the applications yesterday, captioned: 'What never ceases to amaze me is peoples' capacity to exploit black lives to make money.

'I mean, white Brit Georgios Demetriou trying to trademark Black Lives Matter so he can make Black people pay him royalties for demanding equality is peak exploitation.'

The image shows both applications, under the request for 'I Can't Breathe' is a disclaimer which reads: 'This trade Mark is to be used for charitable work and not for personal gain on the back of recent unfortunate events.'

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