Military stories from past to present, both wars.

Crazy Lawsuit Friday, “After Burner”

March 28th, 2014 Posted in The SandGram v1.0

Crazy Fight Suit Law suit.


There is a guy named Jim “Murph” Murphy, who started this motivational speaking group called “After Burner” back in the 90’s.  They do some great stuff but recently Murph decided to patent the use of wearing a flight to give any motivational speeches in.  He also wants the patent on such terms as “AfterBurner” etc.

Well, here is something written by non other then General Chuck Yeager, and I dare say Murph, when you piss off Chuck Yeager, you are really going over the top.  Maybe it’s time to step away from the lawsuit . The Gov’t gave you that flight suit to start with and I don’t think you have the right to own the Patent to it.  Just me, thinking out loud.  What’s next, sue anyone who post a photo of themself wearing a Flight Suit??

A company is allegedly trying to grab the exclusive rights to dress in flight suits when giving a motivational talk, claiming they were the first.
Heck I’ve been doing that since 1947 or even earlier.


According to 1st female Navy fighter pilot Carey Lohrenz: A veteran owned company called Afterburner, Inc. is using the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office), in an attempt to “trademark” the generic flight suit aviators wore in military service, effectively preventing any other veterans from wearing it in commerce, personal photos on websites, or for personal use, ie. on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
Currently, several retired USMC Officers, and a Navy Officer are currently being sued for this, and have been trying to fight this for over 4 years, with costs spiraling above $600,000.00
Below is a list of the trademarks in question, note, all information is publicly available.

Military Flight Suit USPTO# 85094889…e=statusSearch

You’ll note that what Afterburner, Inc. is asking for is not the flight suit configuration that they use in their marketing and service delivery; in their marketing and service delivery they wear a flight suit with an Afterburner patch on the right chest and a specific name patch on the left chest. They are asking for the ENTIRE generic flight suit-global ownership of a Department of Defense garment.

They did not ask for trademark on their specific flight suit configuration or brand logo.

Their intent is to prevent anyone from wearing any color flight suit with or without patches.

They have stated that their “trade dress” is not limited to the flight suit. They claim it includes the use of any and all photographs or videos of fighter aircraft, of any service, or even of foreign military forces! So, veterans would be prohibited from using personal images that reflect their time spent as military aviators – on websites, in books, on social media sites such as LinkedIn profiles and Facebook pages, and in any marketing material.

This affects ALL Veterans.

bellweaponsOpps, wearing a flight suit again…dang, didn’t mean to violate Murph’s patent wishes

Afterburner, Inc. also trademarked common military and commercial aviation terms, and are currently suing veterans who attempt to use these terms. Theoretically, the trademarks, if valid, should be able to be used under “Fair Use” doctrine. Unfortunately that does not prevent Afterburner from litigating.

Clearly, these folks were not the first to use these terms, nor did they come up with them.

“Task Saturation” USPTO# 75379397…e=statusSearch

Plan-Brief-Execute-Debrief-Win USPTO# 85279648…e=statusSearch

Apparently Afterburner filed for another common term- Situational Awareness.

They even sent in marketing collateral to support the notion they owned it.
Somehow, they didn’t follow up on a piece of requested information and after having the TM for 8 years or so, their application is now dead.

Just how many other terms they have tried to TM that we don’t know about? You would have to ask Afterburner.

“Situational Awareness” USPTO# 75467621 – (although they let this TM lapse)…e=statusSearch

Other former military folks have trademarked the following common use terms:

“Wingman” USPTO #3652339…e=statusSearch

“Knock-it-Off” USPTO# 7794852…e=statusSearch

The classic U.S. Navy Blue Angels saying “Glad to be Here” by one of their own, former Blue Angel John Foley…e=statusSearch

Link to Flightsuit Trademark:…e=statusSearchKim and Mitch

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