A man named Munemo Mushonga has filed a trademark application to use George Floyd’s name for the production of film and television, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office database.
As seen in the database, Mushonga filed the application on June 5 for the purpose of “production and distribution of television shows and movies.” Although the application lists Mushonga’s place of residence as Rhode Island, the street address listed is in Miami, Fla., where it appears to be connected to a construction company. No further information is given regarding his specific plans in using Floyd’s name.
Mushonga has no known connection to the TV and film industry nor to Floyd’s family. TMZ claims to have spoken to Mushonga, but reported that he would not give them any details as to why he filed the application or what he plans to do if the trademark is approved.
According to the USPTO, in order to trademark another living person’s name, written consent is required from the person in question. Since Floyd is dead, it is unclear if this rule still applies or if Mushonga would need consent from Floyd’s family members. However, USPTO also states that if the person in question is deceased and of public notoriety, that could be sufficient grounds for the trademark application to be refused.
Mushonga appears to be planning to capitalize on the national outcry and protests that have occurred after Floyd’s wrongful death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers on May 25. The movement has reached across all industries, specifically calling on entertainment to include greater representation of Black voices both on and off screen.