Black Voices

Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin's Mom, Files For Trademarks


The mother of slain teenager Trayvon Martin is seeking trademarks for two phrases that have become associated with the movement surrounding her son's death.

The Smoking Gun reports that Sybrina Fulton filed two applications for trademarks of the phrases, "I Am Trayvon" and "Justice for Trayvon."

Some Smoking Gun commenters seem to think the move is an effort to profit from the outpouring of support for Martin.

Crowd of hundreds: "Justice for Trayvon Martin!"

Mom: "Thank you, all! Now that will be $9.95 from each of you for using his name."

But Victor Baranowski, a patent attorney with the law firm Schmeiser, Olsen and Watts in Latham, N.Y., told The Huffington Post that people can seek trademarks for all sorts of non-economic reasons.

"If you trademark the name, that's going to prevent others from doing it and potentially capitalizing on it in a negative way or a different way than you want," Baranowski said. "In a case like this, there's gonna be others who would want to. So does she want to let somebody else do something with her son's name or does she want it for herself?"

During the "Million Hoodie March" in support of Martin's cause, a HuffPost reporter saw piles of merchandise for sale with Martin's face on it. It was not being sold by anyone affiliated with Martin's family.

A Twitter controversy also erupted over a flyer for a party, allegedly to raise funds for a scholarship in Martin's name.

A line on the flyer that said, "Everyone free B4 11 with an empty bag of Skittles," caused the controversy, according to

Martin bought Skittles just before he was shot and killed by self-appointed neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman, who told police he killed Martin in self-defense.

Martin's family and the thousands of others who have rallied around Martin's cause, have called for Zimmerman's arrest. The case is now with the Florida State Attorney’s Office.

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