Word Heathen Trademarked by Secular Company, Attacking Heathen Artisans

I recently signed a petition, and urge you to do the same. The issue: trademark protection of the word “Heathen”. I’ve seen how luxury brand Hermès has used their trademark to go after religious items for Hellenics and their God Hermes. We have a chance to try to save the Heathen term.

“Dave Lancaster owns a company called Heathen Productions which produces a t-shirt line known as Heathen Nation, who holds a Trademark on the word Heathen. His company has been serving vendors, crafters and merchants who even so much as use the word Heathen in their description box for their product with take down orders and threatening legal action if they do not comply. He is not a Heathen himself but he is affecting the livelihood of many Heathens just trying to support their families and or kindreds.”

You can sign the petition here: https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/heathens-vs-heathen-nation

 

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About ganglerisgrove

Galina Krasskova has been a Heathen priest since 1995. She holds a Masters in Religious Studies (2009), a Masters in Medieval Studies (2019), has done extensive graduate work in Classics including teaching Latin, Roman History, and Greek and Roman Literature for the better part of a decade, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Theology. She is the managing editor of Walking the Worlds journal and has written over thirty books on Heathenry and Polytheism including "A Modern Guide to Heathenry" and "He is Frenzy: Collected Writings about Odin." In addition to her religious work, she is an accomplished artist who has shown all over the world and she currently runs a prayer card project available at wyrdcuriosities.etsy.com.

Posted on January 31, 2020, in Heathenry and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on Wyrd Designs and commented:
    The ancient followers and believers of the old Gods of Germany, Scandinavia and Anglo-Saxon England did not have a name that they called their religion because their religious identity was simply part of their cultural identity. It wasn’t until Christianity encroached on these ancient polytheistic cultures that the term Heathen (used by the 4th Century Christian Goth Ulfilas in his translation of the Bible) was first employed to distinguish between Christians and the ‘other’ in these areas. It is believed that Ulfilas was inspired to follow the example the Romans had created when they termed the word pagan. Ulfilas’ use of the term heathen in his translation of the Bible would trickle down the centuries until the word was used in various Viking Age sagas later. In the modern day the term has been picked up and claimed by tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) across the globe today as a religious identifier.

    You can’t and shouldn’t be able to trademark a religious term or identifying phrase. That belongs to those who use it. This trademark protection essentially throttles religious freedom, and threatens our Heathen artisans and small businesses, as they face legal and financial threats for using the word Heathen on goods, or in product descriptions.

    Heathen is a religious term recognized by the United States Department of Defense in their “Faith and Belief Codes for Reporting Personnel Data of Service Members”. We have religious books under this identifier such as “A Modern Guide to Heathenry”, or religious music like the website Odin’s Gift and their Online Heathen Songbook full of religious music ( http://www.odins-gift.com/wichtig/heathensongbook.htm ), go to Etsy and type the search ter Heathen in and look at all the religious items that show up for our religious community: statues, devotional jewelry, ritual and altar goods. This is our religious expression, and the trademark infringes upon our religious freedoms.

    I’ve signed the petition, and I encourage every Heathen, polytheist, and our allies to take a moment to sign it too, and when doing so remind and reinforce in your comments this is a religious term.

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  2. What happens with this petition? Is someone going to send it to the US Trademark office and file a grievance or dispute? Or is it just virtue signaling?

    On Fri, Jan 31, 2020 at 1:22 PM Gangleri’s Grove wrote:

    > ganglerisgrove posted: “I recently signed a petition, and urge you to do > the same. The issue: trademark protection of the word “Heathen”. I’ve seen > how luxury brand Hermès has used their trademark to go after religious > items for Hellenics and their God Hermes. We have a chance t” >

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    • not being a leftist, i’m not given to virtue signaling. That being said, I actually don’t know with the petition. You bring up a really good point…maybe we should all be contacting the US Trademark office directly (which I can draft my own letter this weekend). Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I can’t imagine this trademark being upheld, at least if it’s going to court in the US. If people not connected with this company were specifically using the terms “Heathen Productions” or “Heathen Nation” I could understand taking some kind of legal action, but that isn’t the case. Dave Lancaster is just a greedy little man who thinks he can get an extra $10 in his bank account by causing a problem where there in truth is none.

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    • Ryan – If you can trademark the name of a God (Hermes), then yes this sort of asshattery has, and continues to happen. The Hellenics have been suffering the fall out of the Hermes term being kept as protected.

      In this case, while I’m not 100% sure, I believe this Heathen trademark instance impacted the business of GRIMFROST as they were told they were infringing upon the trademark use of the word Heathen. In response they’re also now trying to trademark a range of terms too (in the EU), one of them was the term shieldmaiden. This is the name of a competitor company in another country that’s been in business longer than Grimfrost, so they’re now in a legal fight too. It’s like a thing of dominoes falling, and starting their own chain reactions.

      Shieldmaiden’s comment on things: https://www.facebook.com/shieldmaidenglastonbury/posts/2868334256546349

      Grimfrost’s Comment on things:

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  4. We should all be contacting the US Trademark Office. This cannot be allowed to stand.

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