The organization behind the Women’s March has reportedly dropped its attempt to trademark the words “women’s march,” according to The Washington Post.
The Post reports the decision to no longer pursue a trademark for the name brings to an end an internal battle that has lasted for two years.
Several local groups across the country were against the national organization trademarking the term, arguing that no single entity should trademark the term “women’s march.” Four of those groups sued over the attempted trademark.
“The name doesn’t belong to anyone,” Jaquie Algee, board president of Women’s March Chicago, one of the groups that sued the national organization, told the Post. “When women were given the opportunity to vent and empower ourselves against what seemed to be an attack on women, the name really helped to define that moment and that activism.”
The Post reports the national Women’s March organization pulled its application from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office late last month.
“Women’s March, Inc. initially filed for trademark as a matter of standard practice. The trademark process has become a distraction from important work in our movement,” a spokesperson for the group told The Hill in a statement. “Therefore, we withdrew our application so our organization and the movement can go back to the work of building women’s political power.”
The trademark application was filed nearly two years ago in March of 2017, just weeks after the inaugural Women’s March on Washington.
The first march was estimated to be the largest single-day protest in U.S. history, with 4 million to 5 million people participating across the country.
Several local and smaller organizations that participated in the first march continued to hold events and organize, not all of them recognized by the national organization.
When a public comment period opened for discussion on the national organization’s trademark request, 14 different groups filed notices formally opposing the request.
The dispute over the trademark then continued for more than a year, with four groups filing a lawsuit in an attempt to block the national organization from getting the trademark.
Later iterations of the Women’s March have drawn smaller crowds and been plagued by infighting as well as allegations of anti-Semitism from some of the group’s leaders.