First Amendment, trademarks, Washington Redskins, and Jesus Juice

Volokh, Eugene VOLOKH at
Wed Nov 9 15:09:43 PST 2005

A while ago, we discussed on-list whether the PTO can cancel the
Washington Redskins trademark on the grounds that it is offensive or
derogatory.  Any thoughts on what the right answer should be for "Jesus
Juice"?  For the picture of the label, see the post itself


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Bainbridge [mailto:profbainbridge at] 
Sent: Wednesday, November 09, 2005 12:21 PM

. . .

Blasphemy in a Bottle
The Smoking Gun reports:
In a full-bodied blend of blasphemy and ingenuity, a Los Angeles couple
is seeking to market a wine called "Jesus Juice" that bears a label
showing a Michael Jackson-like figure appearing to be crucified. "Jesus
Juice" merlot, the label for which you'll find below, is the brainchild
of actress Dawn Westlake and Bruce Rheins, a veteran CBS Evening News
producer who headed the network's coverage of the Jackson child
molestation case. Westlake and Rheins filed to trademark the "Jesus
Juice" name in January 2004, two months after the entertainer was
arrested and days after news outlets first reported that Jackson used
the term "Jesus Juice" when referring to wine he allegedly gave minors.
On October 1, Westlake and Rheins provided USPTO officials--who are
still reviewing the trademark application--with a copy of the proposed
"Jesus Juice" logo, which features a photo of! a barely clad man with a
sequined glove, shiny loafers, stringy hair, and a black fedora that
obscures his face. While carrying the name "Rheins-Westlake Winery," it
appears that the wannabe winemakers's merlot production has, so far,
been rather limited. In fact, two Westlake web sites seek a partner
(preferably "a vintner with a sense of humor, but a seriously good line
of wines") or someone to purchase the "Jesus Juice" trademark rights.
(HT: Blawgreview) I've asked trademark lawyer to the blogosphere Howard
Klein to advise me as to whether this sort of thing is trademarkable.
Pretty poor taste, in any event.

Steve Bainbridge
mailto: profbainbridge at
Wine Blog:

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