Posted on November 3, 2022

Two Black Men Own the ‘White Lives Matter’ Trademark

Tomas Mier, Rolling Stone, October 31, 2022

“White Lives Matter” is trademarked by two Black men. In an interview with Capital B, the hosts Civic Cipher — the Arizona-based radio show focused on racial justice — revealed that they, as of several days ago, own the trademark for the phrase that Kanye West has attempted to use in a new Yeezy line.

“The way the law works is either you’re owning phrases, or it’s up for grabs for people to make money off them,” Ramses Ja, who c-hosts Civic Cipher with Quinton Ward, told Capital B. {snip}

The radio hosts explained that the person who acquired the trademark in 2020 purchased it so that it wouldn’t fall in the wrong hands, and not to make money off the phrase. But as of Oct. 28, the owner decided to hand over the trademark to the two Black men.

“If we were to sell that trademark, for whatever amount of money, we could donate that money to causes that we feel would benefit Black people, like the NAACP or Black Lives Matter organizations,” Ja said. “Because, realistically, we cannot stop the shirts from being made right now. We can write cease and desist to people selling these shirts right now, but that is a big monster that requires teams of lawyers and thousands of dollars that we do not have.”