The Italian company BasicNet sells a clothing line called Jesus Jeans. The US Patent and Trademark Office gave them the okay in 2007. So while anyone can still sell an image of Jesus on clothing, the name is legally off-limits in the States–“Jesus” belongs to BasicNet. Virginia retailer Michael Julius Anton is trying to fight the trademark so he can sell his Christ-inspired line of beachwear — Jesus Surfed (t-shirts, hoodies and bandannas imprinted with images of Christ, frequently with surfboard under a palm tree). Anton believes if Jesus were alive today, he’d be a surfer. And what does the USPTO know about it?
Jesus is a hot commodity in American retail, but it looks like the Italians really do own the Son-of-God market. California t-shirt company Jesus Up is also facing legal action from Jesus Jeans. The two American retailers are irked not only because they’re being sued, but also because they believe that–unlike surfwear and t-shirts–Jesus Jeans’ skimpy denim shorts have “nothing to do with Jesus.”