DOCUMENT: Fail, Crime

Man Abandons Bid To Secure "Zimmerman" TM

Entrepreneur: It would be "disgusting" to cash in

George Zimmerman

View Document

Zimmerman Abandoned

APRIL 12--A day after George Zimmerman was charged with murdering Trayvon Martin, a California businessman has decided to abandon his efforts to trademark the phrase “I Believe You Zimmerman,” which he planned to place on a variety of merchandise, that could have included leggings, beer mugs, and camouflage shirts.

In an e-mail to TSG, Lawrence Sekara wrote, “I am abandoning the idea of the website and promotional materials.”

The 49-year-old San Francisco resident recently filed a United States Patent and Trademark Office application to secure the “I Believe You Zimmerman” mark. The USPTO action, which cost Sekara $1100, encompasses four separate classes covering an assortment of products, including t-shirts (a TSG artist’s rendering of which can be seen above).

Additionally, Sekara registered the web domain, which he planned to launch later this month.

However, Sekara’s plans have changed--abruptly.

In an interview Tuesday, Sekara said that he planned to share some of the proceeds of his venture with Zimmerman, whom he does not know. Sekara also claimed not to be concerned about being criticized for seeking to profit from the shooting of an unarmed teenager.

In today’s e-mail, Sekara offered a dim view of cashing in on the criminal case. “With regards to the idea of making money off this, I agree that it is disgusting,” he wrote. Sekara added that the point he wanted to make was that “everyone has the right to trial by jury. Everyone tried and convicted the accused and put a bounty on his head. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be in this country.”

Sekara, pictured at left, closed with a reference to President Barack Obama’s reelection committee selling hooded sweatshirts, which he apparently considers an attempt to cash in on the killing of Martin. “Look to the President of the United States making money selling ‘hoodies.’ A double standard don’t you think?”

At press time, Sekara’s "Zimmerman" trademark application has yet to be formally withdrawn, according to online USPTO records. (2 pages)