Been awhile since our last post, readers remind us.
We would like to post more often, but most of our news on the legal front is highly technical in addition to being strategic and therefore not suitable for broad public issue. We will throw out some tidbits now and try to do better in the future.
Technical Standards Committee
The Technical Standards Committee is formed and functioning. We are not releasing names at this point. They are all Class VIII auditors, with many hours in the chair. Importantly, they have each demonstrated character and integrity in the face of altered tech inside the church and refused to go along.
The committee is in the process of putting together a Classification & Gradation Chart based on the 1978 and 1980 versions, the last ones of which LRH sanctioned. It will contain the original OT levels with audited and solo New Era Dianetics for OTs (NOTs) inserted into their rightful place after OT III and before OT IV.
The Church of Scientoloy does not deliver this LRH bridge. First Independent Church of Scientology (FICS) will.
The committee will then start at the bottom of the chart and work upwards, going through various versions of course check sheets, course packs and auditing actions in order to select and recommend standard materials for use by FICS.
At some point prior to action by the FICS board of directors, we will publish their findings and solicit feedback that can be further considered by the committee.
As many readers may recall an application for trademark of the name First Independent Church of Scientology was filed. We also filed an application for trademark for the FICS logo, that is, the same name plus the image we used in the post entitled, “New Legal Entity: First Independent Church of Scientology.”
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) refused to grant the trademarks in a notice dated March 18, 2016, citing the church’s trademark and a likelihood of confusion in the general public between the two marks. The notices can be viewed here and ” target=”_blank”>here.
The law and procedure regarding trademarks is complex, so it is difficult to explain why this action by the USPTO is not entirely unexpected or very significant. It is noted, for example, that the ruling is not a final determination; we have six months to respond. We can still file an action to cancel the church’s trademark for having become generic to name one of many other options.
Most notably, FICS does not need a trademark to a name that uses the word Scientology or the FICS logo in order to use them. FICS can always open its doors using the name and logo and force the church to file a trademark infringement legal action, the defense of which has its own advantages, and thus, this option is still under consideration. The filing of the request for a trademark in the name (only, no image) was a strategic decision.
We have another five months to decide how to proceed, and time is on our side.
More important is the ability to use original LRH materials. As discussed above, we are in the process of identifying those materials.
Meanwhile we have legal experts in the various areas of law of intellectual property (i.e., trademarks and copyrights), First Amendment, religious organizations, and commercial litigation coordinating, planning and developing various legal strategies for a unified approach to the many legal challenges we face, not just with trademarks.
This is going well. All involved are confident of achieving our objectives.
Note: The original version of this article was edited to correct an error related to the filing of an application for trademark of the FICS logo, and its denial.
That’s great Merrell. Thanks for the news!
Fantastic news Merrell, I am very excited to see the provision for the original OT levels back on the Grade Chart, thanks for the update!
Thank-you, for your comm and fantastic news, Merrell.
Good news, nice to see things progressing. Can’t wait for the next chapter! 😀
Well done! The fight to reytain the technology goes on.
Thanx for the update Merrell.
This is great news Merrell! I look forward to the next installment.
Good to get your update and look forward to you progress.
Thanks for the update!
That sounds like a great general outline for an Bridge based on well documented LRH issues. And it is good to see those original OT Levels put back in their original positions on the Bridge so that they can be broadly delivered again.
Regarding the trademark application:
I am not an attorney but it seems to me that the Patent Office’s reason for denying the patent application leaves a wide open opportunity for challenging the very idea that the name of a religion can be patented at all due to the first amendment ban on establishing (or prohibiting the practice of) a religion. There is (or should be) a clear difference between “religion” and “church”. Certainly the name of a church (an organization) can be patented, but not the name of a religion. So, if the name of a church happens to contain the name of the religion it espouses, then the name of the religion must be considered generic since every citizen has the right to practice that religion if they so choose. MOREOVER, (sorry if I just violated a copyright owned by Dan Sherman), the religion of Scientology says that we must call the practice of (exercise of) our religion “Scientology” and not something else.
Can it even be imagined that the patent office would accept a patent for the term “Christianity”, or “Christian”? I don’t think so.
Here is a court decision I found that addresses the distinction between “church” and “religion”.
There are probably others. I hope that we flat out win this legal argument for the term “Scientology”. There have been several court decisions as well as many many claims by the COS that Scientology is in fact a “religion”.
Thank you for the update! You have no idea of the hope you are building for the purity of the tech being made available to all, and thus LRH’s good name correctly represented.
Thanks for the update! And, thanks for keeping this whole game alive and still as fun as it should be. In the end, we’ll all win with actual Scientology applied with integrity and sincerity.
Very well done, Merrell, great work. My best wishes to you and your team.