A San Francisco business owner is showing his support for Florida community watch volunteer George Zimmerman by applying for a trademark and building a website to sell merchandise to help the man.
Lawrence A. Sekara filed an application last month to trademark the phrase, “I Believe You, Zimmerman,” which he hopes to use to create bumper stickers, beer mugs, footwear and assorted apparel, among other items, according to the application filed with the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office.
When contacted Wednesday, Sekara declined to comment on the application for the patent, but confirmed he had filed a trademark application with the federal government.
Sekara told The Smoking Gun, a website that provides documents to the public by using the Freedom of Information Act, that he had no contact with Zimmerman before filing the application, but hopes to share some of the proceeds with him. Sekara also told the website that he plans to keep the specific products under wraps until a website, ibelieveyouzimmerman.com, is launched later this month.
The patent application was filed March 30.
On Wednesday, prosecutors in Florida announced they are charging Zimmerman with second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Martin was shot and killed Feb. 26 while walking back to his father’s girlfriend’s house after a trip to a 7-Eleven store in the Orlando, Fla., suburb of Sanford. Zimmerman admitted to shooting the unarmed teen, but claimed it was self-defense.
Zimmerman, who is now in custody, also tried to gather his own support this week by launching a website of his own, www.therealgeorgezimmerman.com, to allow supporters to donate funds to help him pay legal bills.
On Tuesday, however, Zimmerman’s attorneys announced they were withdrawing from the case after losing contact with their client and learning he had contacted Fox News’ Sean Hannity and prosecutors without their knowledge.
Sekara told The Smoking Gun he was not concerned about any criticism he may receive from the public about his support or profits he may receive, saying the public may have “jumped to too many conclusions.”