Monday, January 31, 2011

Who owns the term "Seventh Day"?

Julia Duin writes about a recent issue regarding who has the right to use a particular religious designation:
.... On Monday, this blog ran a report that mentioned an Adventists for Life Facebook page for Seventh-day Adventists who oppose abortion.

The SDA headquarters, based in Silver Spring, Md., reacted quickly, asking Facebook to remove the offending page. I contacted Facebook on Wednesday to ask why no one checked with the folks behind the page before killing it. I received a copy of their policy that says once someone lodges a plausible claim of trademark infringement, Facebook removes or disables access, no questions asked. ....

I called SDA spokesman Garrett Caldwell to see what was up. He told me his organization had complained about trademark infringement; that is, the unauthorized use of the SDA brand.

"We are working hard to try to protect the name and organization associated with the name," he said. "Both 'Adventist' and 'SDA' are trademarked and registered names. We want to make sure the use of the name is connected with our organization." .... [more]
One of commenters wondered whether anyone had registered or trademarked "Baptist" and then listed some fifty Baptist denominations or associations in North America, the last of which was the Seventh Day Baptist General Conference, my denomination. He then adds:
Let's hope too that the SDA hasn't trademarked the term, "Seventh Day", or else that last Baptist organization is going to have a fight on its hands!
Under God: Who owns the word 'Adventist,' or 'Catholic'? - Julia Duin