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Mother of slain Florida teenager seeks trademarks

The mother of the Florida teenager shot and killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer, in a case with racial overtones that has resonated across the United States, is seeking trademark rights to slogans based on his name.
/ Source: Reuters

The mother of the Florida teenager shot and killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer, in a case with racial overtones that has resonated across the United States, is seeking trademark rights to slogans based on his name.

Sybrina Fulton, the mother of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, filed the trademark requests on March 21, according to the online database of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

In the filings, which were confirmed by Fulton's attorney Kimra Major-Morris, she seeks legal rights to the slogans "Justice for Trayvon" and "I Am Trayvon."

The request to the Patent and Trademark Office said the slogans, and the corresponding trademarks, could be used in matters involving such things as DVDs and CDs "featuring and promoting Trayvon Martin."

"They were filed to preserve intellectual property rights for projects that will assist families who experience similar tragedies," Major-Morris told Reuters in an email.

She did not elaborate but the February 26 killing of Martin, who was black, by George Zimmerman, a white Hispanic, has triggered widespread charges of racial profiling and injustice.

Exactly what happened when the 28-year-old Zimmerman shot Martin, who was unarmed, is still open to dispute. But his attorney has said he acted in self-defense.

Zimmerman has not been arrested. Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which broadened the legal definition of self-defense when it was passed in 2005, provides people with immunity from detention or arrest if they use deadly force in their own defense without clear evidence of malice.