Kanye West can’t sell White Lives Matter apparel because someone else holds the trademark


Two black radio hosts have revealed that they own the trademark to the phrase ‘White Lives Matter,’ preventing the artist formerly known as Kanye West or anyone else from profiting off the controversial phrase.

Ramses Ja and Quinton Ward, Phoenix-based activists and hosts of the nationally syndicated radio show Civic Cipher, revealed their trademark rights in a recent interview with radio station KRRL-FM.

‘We are the holder of the federal trademark for White Lives Matter,’ said Ja. ‘If you want to sell that shirt, you have to come knock on my door, or you have to face Morris, my lawyer.’

It comes weeks after West, who legally changed his name to Ye, appeared at a Paris fashion show wearing a shirt emblazoned ‘White Lives Matter’, a slogan created as a backlash to the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Days later, amid furious backlash over the shirt, West was locked out of his Twitter account for posting rants attacking Jewish people, in a meltdown that has cost the superstar rapper billions in business deals. 

Ramses Ja (left) and Quinton Ward (right), Phoenix-based activists and hosts of the nationally syndicated radio show Civic Cipher, own the trademark to 'White Lives Matter'

Ramses Ja (left) and Quinton Ward (right), Phoenix-based activists and hosts of the nationally syndicated radio show Civic Cipher, own the trademark to ‘White Lives Matter’

West drew furious backlash when he appeared at a Paris fashion show wearing a shirt emblazoned 'White Lives Matter,' a slogan created as a backlash to Black Lives Matter

West drew furious backlash when he appeared at a Paris fashion show wearing a shirt emblazoned ‘White Lives Matter,’ a slogan created as a backlash to Black Lives Matter

Ja and Ward explained that the trademark for ‘White Lives Matter’ was originally registered by one of their listeners, who transferred it to them in a process that was recently completed.

‘This person who first procured it didn’t really love owning it, because the purpose was not necessarily to get rich off of it; the purpose was to make sure that other people didn’t get rich off of that pain,’ Ja told the news site Capital B

Ja and Ward say that they plan to enforce their trademark rights to ensure any use of the phrase ultimately goes to benefit black and brown communities.

‘We know that phrases like ‘White Lives Matter,’ ‘All Lives Matter,’ and ‘Blue Lives Matter’ continue to cause harm and to dilute the narrative that was intended to be established by Black Lives Matter,’ Ja told Capital B.

‘Those phrases are all piggybacking off of black people’s creativity and efforts, so we’re all for helping to use this as a measure to allow black people to retain a little bit of ownership,’ he added.

A review of federal records confirms that Civic Cipher LLC is the owner of the ‘White Lives Matter’ trademark, which was first registered on October 3.

Ja and Ward say that they plan to enforce their trademark rights to ensure any use of the phrase ultimately goes to benefit black and brown communities

Ja and Ward say that they plan to enforce their trademark rights to ensure any use of the phrase ultimately goes to benefit black and brown communities

A review of federal records confirms that Civic Cipher LLC is the owner of the 'White Lives Matter' trademark, which was first registered on October 3

A review of federal records confirms that Civic Cipher LLC is the owner of the ‘White Lives Matter’ trademark, which was first registered on October 3

It means that West will be legally barred from selling his controversial shirts, which he debuted at a fashion show last month alongside conservative commentator Candace Owens.

However, the trademark does not prevent West from wearing the phrase on his clothing, as long as he does not attempt to profit from it. 

Last week, West said he lost $2 billion in a single day as business partners rushed to dump him over his anti-Semitic outbursts.

He claimed in a tweet that he wanted to go ‘death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE,’ misspelling the phrase describing US military readiness levels. 

The music and fashion mogul has seen lucrative commercial partnerships shelved as companies including Adidas and Gap fled in the wake of his vile comments.

West will be legally barred from selling his controversial shirts, which he debuted at a fashion show last month alongside conservative commentator Candace Owens

West will be legally barred from selling his controversial shirts, which he debuted at a fashion show last month alongside conservative commentator Candace Owens

‘I lost 2 billion dollars in one day. And I’m still alive. This is love speech,’ West wrote Thursday on Instagram in a post that had been liked over a million times.

‘I still love you. God still loves you. The money is not who I am. The people is who I am,’ the post said, naming Emanuel Ari, the CEO of entertainment company Endeavor, who had urged companies to sever ties with the rapper.

German sportswear giant Adidas said Tuesday it was ending its partnership with West after his ‘unacceptable, hateful and dangerous’ comments.

Adidas also said it would end production of the highly successful ‘Yeezy’ line designed together with West and ‘stop all payments to Ye and his companies’.

The move is expected to lop around a quarter of a billion dollars off Adidas’s bottom line this year alone.



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