Rival Bobov Factions in Trademark Dispute

Following the death of the fourth Bobover Rebbe, Naftali Zvi Halberstam, in 2005, the Bobov Hassidim have split into two camps with many Bobover Hasidim accepting his son-in-law Rabbi Mordechai Dovid Unger as their Rebbe, whereas others have aligned themselves with his brother, Rabbi Ben Zion Aryeh Leibish Halberstam as the Rebbe.

The succession is being arbitrated by a Beth Din (Jewish court).  However, the issue of the true Bobov Rebbe has also spilled over into the USPTO and courts, with contentious litigation between rival groups claiming and opposing trademarks including the term Bobov.

Current US  Bobov trademarks and trademark applications include:

1 78622405  AV’DAK BOBOV
2 78622385  AV’DAK BOBOV
3 78622367  AD’MOR M’BOBOV
4 78622364  AD’MOR M’BOBOV
5 78622346  AD’MOR M’BOBOV
6 78614031  BOBOV
7 78622400  AV’DAK BOBOV
8 78622420  BOBOVER REBBE
9 78614104  BOBOV
10 78622446  BOBOVER REBBE
11 78622438  BOBOVER REBBE
12 78614126  BOBOV
13 78614073  BOBOV
14 78622413  AV’DAK BOBOV
15 78622390  AV’DAK BOBOV
16 78622375  AD’MOR M’BOBOV
17 78614246  BOBOV
18 78688025  
19 78614013  BOBOV
20 78614088  BOBOV
21 78622456  BOBOVER REBBE
22 78614141  BOBOV
23 78622428  BOBOVER REBBE
24 78622358  AD’MOR M’BOBOV
25 78614119  BOBOV

See http://www.likelihoodofconfusion.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/04/bobov-78614126-monsey.pdf for example.

There is a good article on the subject by self-styled IP Maven, Ron Coleman. See http://www.likelihoodofconfusion.com/?p=946#comment-34172  The succession issue is not unique to Bobov of course.

In April 2006, the Nonogerian Satmar Rebbe, Moshe teitelbaum, was buried in New York. Now the Satmar community is the fastest-growing ultra-orthodox sect in the world, controlling over $1 billion in real estate and social services enterprises, and claiming more than 100,000 members.
Reb Aaron Taitelbaum, Chief Rabbi in Kiryas Joel was one obvious candidate to succeed his father, but younger son, Rav Zalman who headed up the Williamsburg congregation, was also a candidate. The two brothers are to have practically ignored each other for the best part of a decade. No doubt most of the Aharonis and Zalmanis are law-abiding citizens, but disputes between the rival street gangs, sorry cults, have been punctuated by broken arms and legs, and arson attacks on cars and homes.

The Vishnitz Hassidim seem to be less acrimonious. On the other hand, there are so many Vishnitzer Rebbes, untangling the mess is not easy. Briefly,
There is Rebbe Eliezer Hager of Seret-Vizhnitz, who is the present Rebbe of Seret-Vizhnitz of Haifa – (son of the Mekor Baruch). He is not to be confused (Has v’shalom) with the Shotz-Vizhnitz Rebbe of Haifa – (son of Moshe Hager). Now there is also the Vizhnitzer Rebbe of Bnei Brak – (son of the Imrei Chaim) and Rebbe Mordechai Hager of Vizhnitz-Monsey the present Vizhnitzer Rebbe of Monsey and the son of the Imrei Chaim. Various other lesser Vishnitzer Rovs and Rebbes abound.



Categories: Israel Trademark, News, Opinion, trademarks, US, US Patent Office, USPTO

2 replies

  1. Michael:

    Please be advised that none of the trademark applications has been registered in the USPTO. Your list is a list of 25 trademark applications, not registrations. The published marks are currently the subject of opposition proceedings.

  2. Hello David,

    I looked into the applications, and from the USPTO website TARR it appears that some are being opposed, some have not yet been opposed and some have been allowed.

    Similar trademarks have been filed in Israel. No evidence of oppositions having been filed yet. I don’t suppose they have been filed anywhere else (Belgium perhaps?)

    Anyway, thanks for the correction

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