"America is embracing a new ethic and a new creed: 'Let's roll,' " President Bush said in his State of the Union address. But the widow of Todd Beamer, whose heroism made the phrase famous, is worried that the wrong people are embracing the new creed. Her Todd Beamer Foundation rushed to trademark the phrase—but several entrepreneurs beat the foundation to it.
"We think it's horrible for people to want to profit off the events of Sept. 11," Doug MacMillan, the foundation's executive director, told the Associated Press. "If there's anybody who should be benefiting, it should be the victims."
But that's not to say the foundation will snub commercial opportunities. A press release says the foundation "is currently in discussions to license the mark for products from Coca-Cola, NASCAR, MLB, NFL, Ford, and other Fortune 500 companies." Let's Rolla Cola?
According to a Slate.com piece, "Can you trademark the phrase 'Let's Roll'?", common phrases can be trademarked if it can be demonstrated that the phrase has acquired a distinctive secondary meaning apart from its original meaning.
"Let's Roll" is also coming to record stores near you as the song titles of recordings by both Neil Young and DC Talk.
Previous Christianity Today articles on Todd Beamer include:
Widow of September 11 Hero Starts FoundationTodd M. Beamer fund established to care for children who lost parents on United Flight 93. (Dec. 3, 2001)
Beamer's Faith, Competitive Streak ...1