That’s the punchline of an old Jewish joke about a blessing that is part of the traditional thrice-daily prayers, which begins, “On the saintly (i.e., the tzadikim), and on the pious (the hasidim) …,” asking for a special blessing in their merit. Why, the jape goes, doesn’t the blessing go in the opposite order — “on the hasidim, and on the tzadikim“? Answer: “Never start with a hasid!”

The New York Court of Appeals agrees, refusing to get involved in a succession fight among rival groups of one of the largest hasidic groups, the Satmar hasidim. What does that have to do with LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION®? Well, of course, it recalls our discussion of the still-active trademark dispute among rivals in the Bobov hasidic group. And it reinforces our argument: Secular courts, and other agencies such as the Patent and Trademark Office, will be well advised not let their good offices be part of this “fun.”

By Ron Coleman

LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION blog author Ron Coleman is a member of Dhillon Law Group in their New York City and Montclair, New Jersey offices. He is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law and Princeton University.

One thought on “Don’t start with a Hasid”
  1. Ron,
    You make a point that the Government is not supposed to join in the fun. For arguments sake I agree. But understand that when one side of a faction assumes control of the main synagogue by any means at their disposal, the courts have ceased to be of any remedy to the outed faction. By this reasoning, won’t you loose your opposition to the Bobov Trademark filings? Your faction was outed; the courts will not interfere; you have nowhere to go but to open up shop for yourself. So, under what basis would you oppose the use of a name that you have no way of reclaiming?
    I wonder how smart the decision is in maintaining law and order in our communities.


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