The first record is for the phrase, “worship leader workshop,” a trademark filed in 1997 and registered in 1999. Authentic Media LLC is identified as the last listed owner, and a disclaimer says, “No claim is made to the exclusive rights to use ‘workshop’ apart from the mark as shown.”
The second record, for the term, “worship leader,” is the one that the worship director mentioned in his video. It was filed in 2015 and registered in 2016 with Authentic Media LLC again identified as the last listed owner.
The third record is for “Rogue Worship Leader,” with the filing date listed as March 2, 2023. The status of this filing is unclear, although the legal platform, UpCounsel, says that the “live” label can be used if a trademark is being reviewed by an attorney.
In a blog post dated June 1, 2022, Worship Leader editor-in-chief Joshua Swanson defended trademarking “worship leader.” He writes:
Worship Leader has a specific mission we feel the Lord has given to us and if another company came along and used our name to do anything close to our mission, but was in fact a completely different business, we would consider that a challenge to the legitimacy of our brand. We feel strongly that Worship Leaders’ mission of empowering the church to build a lifestyle of worship is worth defending, therefore we will continue to defend our trademarks to ensure that there is no brand confusion and that the words “Worship Leader” are synonymous with our mission.
The worship director tells ChurchLeaders that the only action he has taken is to file an appeal with Facebook. ChurchLeaders has reached out to Worship Leader for comment via its website and has also reached out to Lindsay J. Hulley, who is listed as the attorney of record for Authentic Media LLC’s trademark filings.
This article has been updated to include the quote from Joshua Swanson’s blog post.