What would Tyler Perry Presents Tyler Perry's Jesus™, starring Tyler Perry, do? We're probably about to find out, because the omnipresent creator of the Madea franchise now controls the trademark on "What Would Jesus Do?"
The Hollywood Reporter details how Perry wrestled the mark on the popular phrase away from z-list reality star Kimberly Kearney ("Poprah" on I Want to Work for Diddy, which was apparently a real television show).
Kearney registered "What Would Jesus Do?" in connection with a TV show that never emerged, so Perry's lawyers invoked the "use it (in commerce) or lose it" principle of trademark registration and convinced a panel of administrative judges that Poprah had abandoned the mark.
Although Kearney claimed that Perry stole her idea after she shared it with Tyler Perry Studios, the judges found there wasn't enough evidence to block Perry's registration on the grounds of "unclean hands."
Now that Perry owns the mark, he has to do something with it or risk losing it in a similar fashion, which officially raises the threat level of a Tyler Perry's WWJD? movie or TV show to red.
Perry noted in his filing that he doesn't claim any exclusive right to use "Jesus" outside of the disputed four-word phrase. The trademark also only applies to motion pictures, TV shows, and live performances, so you can still own a WWJD? bracelet without putting money in Tyler Perry Presents Tyler Perry's Pockets.