By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. June 25, 2021: Black Panther actor Michael B. Jordan may be taking the front-end brunt of the clapback over his attempt to launch a rum brand on the backs of Caribbean culture and the name of its historic carnival event, “J’Ouvert,” but a News Americas investigation has found that an application to own the trademark of the name was actually filed by a White New York resident.
Louis Ryan Shaffer of 78 Orchard St, New York City, quietly filed an application to trademark the name “J’Ouvert,” with the US Patent and Trademark Office on September 25, 2020.
The Trademark office published the mark for opposition on April 6, 2021, more than two months ago. In the application, Shaffer stated invalidly that “the wording “J’OUVERT” has no meaning in a foreign language.”
The name J’Ouvert actually originates from the French “jour ouvert,” meaning daybreak or morning, and signals the start of Carnival. J’Ouvert is the name of the first official day of Carnival festivities in Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean and its Diasporas. Carnival was introduced to Trinidad by French colonizers in 1783. Banned from the masquerade balls of the French, the enslaved people would stage their own mini-carnivals in their backyards – using their own rituals and folklore, but also imitating and sometimes mocking their masters’ behavior at the masquerade balls.
Shaffer applied for the mark under the “goods and services” category, as a standard character mark for “alcoholic beverages, except beer; distilled spirits; rum-based beverages; rum.” So far, the mark has been assigned a “1 b” category, which under trademark rules simply means its “an “intent-to-use basis.”
Shaffer is listed on LinkedIn as business & legal affairs at Roc Nation and founder of the BRKTHRU Foundation. He has also worked in the past at FADER magazine and BET, as well as the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.
He has a doctorate in law from Howard University School of Law and a BA in Public Policy in African American Studies from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, University.