SUBJECT: TO DIRECT THE SYNOD BOARD OF DIRECTORS TO ADHERE TO ITS PUBLISHED SUPPORT OF ISSUES, ETC. AND WITHDRAW ITS OPPOSITION TO THE ISSUES, ETC. TRADEMARK AND THREAT OF LAWSUIT.
WHEREAS, Issues Etc. weekday and national Sunday night show was cancelled on Tuesday March 18th, 2008, for programmatic and business reasons; and
WHEREAS, The LCMS Board of Director's stated in the September 2008 Reporter, “the Board authorized its general counsel to prepare a release for use of the LCMS-owned trademark for the radio program "Issues, Etc.," the archived programs, and related materials to Rev. Todd Wilken and Jeff Schwarz. Wilken and Schwarz intend to continue the program, which was dropped by KFUO. According to (Ron) Schultz, the Board expects the agreement will help bring the recent programming issues to a positive conclusion”; and
WHEREAS, The U.S. Trademark office, stated that in October of 1999 the LCMS failed to maintain its trademark on the name "Issues, Etc."; and
WHEREAS, On May 31, 2008, Mr. Harry Madsen made application for the trademark in his own name, as sole proprietor, desiring to make arrangements for Rev. Wilken and Mr. Schwarz to use the "Issues, Etc." name for their new radio broadcast.; and
WHEREAS, On December 2, 2008 the LCMS filed a Letter of Opposition to Mr. Madsen's trademark application; and
WHEREAS, On December 7, 2008 Mr. Madsen filed a Motion to Dismiss the LCMS Objection on grounds with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office; and
WHEREAS, On December 16th, 2008 the attorney for the LCMS Board of Director's sent a letter threatening to recommend legal action against Rev. Wilken and Mr. Schwarz, “to enforce its rights to the trademark”; and
WHEREAS, No vote is recorded in any minutes of the LCMS Board of Directors stating a change in their position “to assign its entire right, title, and interest in and to the Issues, Etc. mark….to Rev. Wilken and Mr. Schwarz”, which was written in the resolution voted on and carried at the August 21-22, 2008, meeting and recorded in the minutes;
WHEREAS, The LCMS has spent thousands of dollars on the opposition to the Issues, Etc. trademark, and the expense and opposition and threatened legal action is totally unnecessary and is a poor use of Synodical financial resources and man hours that could be used for the further proclamation of the Gospel; therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the Southern Illinois District gathered in convention at Collinsville, Illinois, this 21st day of February, in the year of our Lord 2009, give thanks and praise to God for the ministry of Issues, Etc. and the hard work of Pastor Wilken and Mr. Schwarz, and be it further
RESOLVED, that the Southern Illinois District direct the District President to admonish the Synodical Board of Directors to cease and desist all legal action regarding the Issues, Etc. trademark and legal action against Rev. Wilken and Mr. Schwarz; and be it further
RESOLVED, that Synodical Board of Directors be admonished to be better stewards of donated congregational dollars to be used toward the proclamation and spreading of the Gospel rather than frivolously engaging in legal matters; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the Synodical Board of Directors adhere to their published and carried resolution of August 2008, and withdraw its opposition to Mr. Harry Madsen’s application for the trademark “Issues, etc.,” and release the archived programs, and related materials to Rev. Wilken and Mr. Schwarz; and be it finally
RESOLVED, that these actions by the Synodical Board of Directors will bring the recent programming issues to a positive conclusion for all.
13 February 2009
Issues Overture to Southern Illinois District Convention
The following overture will come before next week's convention of the Southern Illinois District of the LCMS. I share it here with the full permission and blessing of the overture's author, the Rev. Michael Kumm.