*Kimberly Kearney, otherwise known as Poprah, to no one’s surprise, is not thrilled at all about losing her trademark fight with Tyler Perry over the phrase “What Would Jesus Do” as we recently reported.
Ok then, so WHAT is Poprah gonna do now to get the bad taste of losing out of her mouth? Well, according to her publicist, Tonya Carmouche’, the scorned actress (“I Want to Work for Diddy”) says she may appeal the decision. Here’s the statement detailing her and her team’s thoughts:
The US Patent and Trademark office records show that Kim Kearney, aka Poprah, filed an application for the trademark name “What Would Jesus Do” in 2008, four months before Tyler Perry ever filed an application. Yet, the office gave favor to Perry, to cancel Kearney’s legitimate trademark registration, merely based on a minor technicality. She missed an “unwritten date” that only an attorney would know about, to respond to the lawsuit. Tyler’s team filed a request to cancel her trademark, so he could use it for himself, although her evidence clearly showed that she presented her idea with the name, for her own show, months before his application.
Without the guidance of an attorney at the time, though diligently seeking legal help, Kearney was unaware she had to respond to the suit in 30 days or less. Subsequently, she missed the response deadline, thereby blocking all of her evidence and testimony from ever being considered by the trademark court. This of course, crippled her ability to defend her legally registered trademark, from this hostile takeover by a self‐proclaimed “Christian,” an industry mogul, who she so naively trusted with her Christian TV show concept. This minor technicality was used by Tyler Perry’s team, to get the board to deny Kearney a real opportunity to defend her mark and instead, allowed the big Hollywood guy, to take the rightfully owned trademark, of an up and coming producer and talent, who trusted him enough to present her idea to his company, in the first place. This is completely unfair, yet another example of how money and power once again, overrules righteousness in Hollywood.
My client, Poprah, has never “admitted” that she hadn’t produced a television show in connection with “What Would Jesus Do.” The deadline for responding to the suit was missed, so all of Tyler Perry’s attorney’s accusations were “deemed” admitted, because the responses negating those absurd accusations were never considered. The “admissions” are statements from Tyler’s attorney, which she had to reply to, but are written in the “negative” tense. Such as, “You never planned to do this TV show, did you?” So her answers, such as, “That is not true, I am doing a TV show”, were thrown out. This means that the statements were then viewed by the trademark board, as if “she admitted” to these absurd claims, out of her own mouth. Though she begged and pleaded, the board would not throw out the ridiculous admissions, though they knew, she denied them in her response. This injustice, was all because, a novice who did not have an attorney, missed an “unwritten” deadline only an attorney would know about. It didn’t matter to the board one bit, that it would destroy her defense and ability to protect her TV project! This is totally unfair!
This is how the system works against anyone without legal help. If it had been a criminal case, she would have at least had a public defender to protect her rights and help avoid these travesties of justice. But instead, with intellectual property, you are left fighting the corporate bullies alone, unless you are willing to risk your life‐savings to fight back!
The fact is, she indeed was producing a television show titled “What Would Jesus Do” and had a distribution deal with a NETWORK which reached 80 million homes, states Tonya Carmouche’, Publicist. The only mistakes my client made, were first, trusting a multi‐millionaire to be respectful of her vision and not assuming, that no matter how wealthy and famous a person is, they can still be greedy enough, to take what you have, even if they claim to be a man of God. Had my client had a lawyer from the beginning, her answers, testimonies, and evidence, would have assured her a win in this case. The facts were facts, and all would have been in her favor. But no lawyer was involved at the time of the first filings, because every lawyer she approached required an absurd retainer, as high as $50,000 or more, because Tyler Perry was the plaintiff, or they were simply afraid to challenge a man in Hollywood with so much power.
Poprah, however, still submitted her responses to the trademark court, as well as all her evidence in the case, for “What Would Jesus Do”, and it is all public record. It clearly shows this ruling is a travesty of justice. Information can be found at www.uspto.gov under the TTAB proceedings for “What Would Jesus Do” case #92053298. People can see for themselves, email evidence of Mr. Perry (team) reviewing Poprah’s idea, prior to their filing for the trademark of “What Would Jesus Do?” It also shows Poprah’s website that was built and used for casting, seeking funding, distribution, etc. for the show. This information, and more, was submitted to the Trademark office, but again, was never considered, by the trademark board’s own admission.
To make this more shocking, Poprah even offered Mr. Perry, through his attorney, in writing, to share the trademark, because she felt the bigger picture was peace and spreading God’s word. She offered to let him use her trademark for free! Yes, she was willing to give Tyler Perry, a millionaire hundreds of times over, the right to use her rightfully attained trademark for free, so that she could move forward with the show that she feels God put on her heart. This would allow Tyler to profit from her name, the name she legally owned name, without “her,” ever being compensated, a prime example of “What Would Jesus Do?” But this was not acceptable to Perry or his team. Unfortunately, the trademarked name, “What Would Jesus Do” is just a “name” to some people, not something you actually live by.
We’re hoping this ruling will be appealed and hopefully overturned. This story is bigger than a trademark, it clearly demonstrates, how fairness still does not exist in the entertainment world. It also reveals how integrity, can be overshadowed by greed. Hopefully, this is encouragement to all of the underdogs, that although a battle may be lost, the war continues, and eventually justice will prevail. Because Poprah is not giving up, her moniker is… “What Would Jesus Do”? “Jesus didn’t give up on me, so I’m not giving up on him, she says. But in my opinion, Tyler Perry just robbed Jesus, and he’s going to have to deal with God about that. I pity his greedy soul!”
For questions or interviews with Kim Kearney aka Poprah, please contact Publicist, Tonya Carmouche’ at: 562‐551‐8277 or [email protected]