Thursday, 26 May 2011

No prayers for the unregistered

A report today in the South Africna daily newspaper the Times (available here at http:// ) deals with church trade marks. The usual lawyerly stuff about bona fide applicants, class specifications etc are missing, so it is difficult to assess the merits of the story.
The report states that one faction of a South African church, the Nazareth Baptist Church founded in 1910 by Isiah Shembe and with over a million members in total, has registered trade marks that will prevent the other four factions from preaching the religion 'in any form' and by any means, including on TV, radio stations (and in trains). Singing the church hymns (and dancing to them), using church prayers or literature, attending annual pilgrimages and wearing the distinctive robes and attire of church members are also forbidden.
The report also states that this faction is so serious about protecting its trade marks that it intends to hire a firm of auditors to tackle infringements. This is possibly a better idea that hiring a firm of lawyers, who might just point out that any trade mark that can achieve all the above is of a higher order than those available to mere mortals.

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