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Did A Company Actually Trademark “Worship Leader”?

Did A Company Actually Trademark “Worship Leader”?

A strange trademark interaction is centering around the term “worship leader.”

Earlier this week on Instagram, @RogueWorshipLeader shared some bizarre news with his followers after his Facebook account had been taken down for “violating community guidelines.” He claimed that Authentic Media, a Christian-owned company, had reported his posts to Facebook, citing trademark infringement.

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A post shared by Rogue Worship Leader (@rogueworshipleader)

As it turns out, Authentic Media does own the rights to “worship leader,” despite it being a common phrase. Back in 1992, the company filed paperwork for the term with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Screenshot 2023-03-17 at 5.08.13 PM.png

The company owns an organization called “Worship Leader,” which is a magazine that offers tools and resources to worship lea— um, we mean leaders of worship.

“We literally coined the phrase ‘Worship Leader,'” the company claims on their website.

However, since the company has been caught up in a trademark issue, many have questioned why they would pursue legal action in the first place. In June 2022, Authentic Media posted a detailed explanation of why they are beginning to protect their trademark.

“Owning and managing our trademark is part of stewarding the mission that God has laid on our business, and we take that very seriously,” they wrote. “Most recently, with the passing of our founder and the new partnership that we formed, we’ve been a bit behind, but we’re now getting caught up and plan to continue to defend our trademark, as we have for decades.”

And for anyone who feels let down about no longer using the term, Authentic Media wants to remind you that “God has so much creativity that you can lean in on your own gifting and come up with your own name.” Isn’t that great?

5:52 p.m. – Joshua Swanson, editor of Worship Leader Magazine, reached out to RELEVANT with the following statement.

“This all revolves around an issue with one account that we felt was impersonating us,” he wrote. “Regarding the rumors that we are going around reporting accounts; it’s not true. We sent one report to Facebook regarding this individual account. This is where the fumble happened. We provided supporting links to other accounts and just messed up in doing that because Facebook took that and delisted 6 additional accounts.

“We have reached out to them and asked them to reverse what they did,” he continued. “But that is the only action we’ve taken and will not take action against other accounts. There is no pending legal action of any kind on any side of this.

© 2023 RELEVANT Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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