Tyler Perry Wins 'What Would Jesus Do' Trademark

News & Views | Camille Travis | 07/07/2014 | 01:30 PM EDT

The director was awarded the copyright over 'I Want to Work for Diddy' star Kimberly “Poprah” Kearney

Tyler Perry is likely rejoicing over his hard-fought win for ownership of the phrase "What Would Jesus Do" which was recently granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.


According to The Hollywood Reporter, the director had been going head-to-head with Kimberly Kearney-- also known as "Poprah" of VH1's reality series "I Want to Work for Diddy"-- since May 2008 over the mark he registered in the category of entertainment services. In his filing, Perry mentioned live concerts, a television program and motion pictures but made it clear that he wasn't "attempting ownership on the exclusive right to use 'Jesus' apart from 'What Would Jesus Do.'"


Interestingly enough, Kearney filed for the same mark months before Perry for a reality television show. But her failure to jumpstart its usage prompted Perry to demand that the Trademark Office declare her registration abandoned. He claimed Kearney was blocking his attempts to use the mark.


The report continues:


"In subsequent papers at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, Kearney attempted to make the case that she first used the mark in November 2007, and during the initial stage of production, she 'shared her television program and title with Tyler Perry Studios' and that "not many months after sharing this program and soliciting [Perry] for financial support of this program, [Perry] filed to register this mark; consequently, eventually resulting in this cancellation proceeding."


The case was closed when Kearney could not deliver facts on why she hadn't produced the show in connection with "What Would Jesus Do," why she hadn't sold a show or taken meetings.


Following the ruling, Kearney took to Twitter to air out her frustrations in a lengthy rant. She stated:


"Thanks every1 who has reached out bout the board letting @tylerperry steal my trademark 4 What Would Jesus Do-but its not over-God got this! The WHOLE story has not been told! Press don't knw I gave evidence that was NOT EVEN LOOKED AT, he won on a technicality & wouldn't TESTIFY! YES! @tylerperry almost drove me to SUICIDE w/his BULLYING by his LEGAL TEAM-tryn to steal my TRADEMARK! #veryChristlike? #JESUSSAIDNO #LIVE"


Perry has yet to speak on the matter.

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