Filmmaker beat another "interested party" for rights to the phrase.
What would Jesus do? Cut a check to Tyler Perry, evidently. The media mogul scored a major win last week when he was awarded the copyright to the popular phrase "What Would Jesus Do," according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Perry was granted the copyright by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office over I Want to Work for Diddy star Kimberly “Poprah” Kearney, who registered the trademark in 2008, several months before Perry did. Perry registered the phrase in the category of “entertainment services,” with the idea of producing “live concerts, a TV program and motion pictures” in relation to the trademark.
Kearney had it trademarked to use as the title for a reality show, but Tyler Perry Studios challenged her claim due to lack of use. The reality star claims she was developing a reality series with the title, and had in fact submitted the idea to Tyler Perry Studios in 2007 for backing. She alleges that Perry and his lawyers essentially stole the phrase from her and did "trademark jujitsu" to get the rights.
On Wednesday, the judges ruled in favor of the actor-producer, transferring the trademark from Kearney to Perry. “Thanks every1 who has reached out bout the board letting @tylerperry steal my trademark 4,” she tweetedThursday. “What Would Jesus Do-but its not over-God got this!”
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(Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)