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Florida man seeks trademark on slogan ‘Je Suis Charlie’

January 23, 2015

AVENTURA, Florida (AP) — A U.S. man is seeking to profit from the phrase “Je Suis Charlie,” which became a rallying cry after a terrorist attack in Paris that killed 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper.

According to a Jan. 16 filing at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Florida-based Latin American Trading Group Inc. applied for a trademark on the words, which translate to “I Am Charlie.” The application says the phrase would be used on a range of products.

The company’s listed director, Joe Marc Gershon, does not have a listed phone number and could not be reached for comment Friday.

Trademark attorney David Friedland predicts the application will not be approved because trademark holders must be the phrase’s source.

Friedland says people often waste hundreds of dollars in attempts to trademark popular phrases like “Boston Strong” because they don’t understand the law.

The satirical French publication was attacked Jan. 7.

In the following two days, Islamic extremist gunmen in Paris also attacked a kosher market and a policewoman. Twenty people were killed in the attacks, including the three gunmen.

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