Houston Lawsuit

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On June 27, Urantia Foundation filed suit against First Urantia Society of Houston, Inc., Kermit Laurent, W. Allen Brazell, Sue Via Brazell, Kathy Fusco, and John Charles for the infringement of the Foundation's registered mark, URANTIA. First Urantia Society of Houston, Inc. is a recently incorporated Texas not-for-profit corporation which is not the First Urantia Society of Houston. Kermit Laurent, Sue Via Brazell, and Kathy Fusco are both officiers and incorporators of the corporation. W. Allen Brazell is the agent for the corporation and the person who initiated the incorporation process. John Charles is an officer of the corporation.

On Wednesday, July 16, 1980, a hearing was held in the courtroom of Judge McDonald in Houston, on the Foundation's motion for a preliminary injunction to enjoin First Urantia Society of Houston, Inc. from using the trademark Urantia in its name, or otherwise, pending a trial on the merits. The defendent corporation took the position that it (and not First Urantia Society of Houston) was the Society which had been chartered by Urantia Brotherhood and had the right to e the word Urantia in its name, despite the Brotherhood's denial that such was the fact. The court, without making any ruling regarding the mark itself, viewed the matter as an internal controversy, and for that reason denied the preliminary injunction.

Urantia Foundation has requested an early trial on the merits of the case which will probably not occur until next February or March. In the meantime, Urantia Foundation and Urantia Brotherhood will co-operate towards the settlement of the internal controversy to the extent it is possible.

While we would wish that such unfortunate situations as above described would never arise, it would seem that this situation exemplifies the need for such a document as the Licensing Agreement. While Urantia Brotherhood is the body that must determine in any controversy when a group is an authorized Urantia Society, Urantia Foundation actually files and bears the expense of any suit that is required to fulfill its protection of the Brotherhood's right to allow only those Societies the Brotherhood officially recognizes to use the word Urantia in the Societies' titles. This mutually supportive relationship of Urantia Brotherhood using the registered mark Urantia and by so doing aiding in establishing and preserving the mark Urantia as a strong identifier of the organizations associated with the text of The Urantia Book as originally copyrighted and Urantia Foundation supporting the Brotherhood legally is firmly and formally established in the Licensing Agreement.

Foundation Info

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