A New York court issued a final ruling, earlier today, Thursday, bringing to a close the long legal saga waged over the Kehos logo’s use. Merkos sued Vaad L’hafotzas Sichos in an attempt to prevent them from publishing the Rebbe’s Seforim, including the Lekutei Sichos, with the Kehos logo.
The Jewish judge, Mr. Frederick Block, heard the arguments of both parties and analyzed many documents that were presented by both sides to the court, before ruling that he is dismissing the suit, without any conditions, effectively handing a win to Vaad L’Hafotzas Sichos, which will be allowed henceforth to use the Kehos logo.
The judge, in an opinion spread over nineteen pages, opened by reviewing the parties disagreement on using the title “Melech Hamoshiach” on the Rebbe, as well as other titles that denote a passing.
Thereafter, the judge noted Merkos’s interesting position – that it would recognize the right of Vaad L’Hafotzas Sichos to use the Kehos logo when printing the Rebbe’s Torah, but only if they refrain from using (what they consider) objectionable titles when referencing the Rebbe, such as “Melech Hamoshiach”.
The judge went on to affirm his respect for both sides’ sincerely held religious beliefs, but insisted that civil court isn’t the forum for resolving such matters.
Therefore, the judge wrote, the court will only rule on the “dry” legal issues. Commensurate with that view, the judge resorted to using established legal doctrine and formula that controls if and when an entity can prohibit another publishing entity from using a given logo.
After analyzing the relavant legal issues, the opinion finally makes the ruling clear by declaring that the litigant (Merkos) has not sufficiently convinced the court of their case’s merits, before dismissing the case.
The judge concludes on a personal note, suggesting that now that this issue has been sufficiently dealt with and laid to rest, Chabad should not pursue this further, out of respect for the Rebbe.
Director of Vaad L’Hafotzas Sichos R’ Zalman Chanin expressed satisfaction with the outcome, which essentially allows Vaad L’Hafotzas Sichos – which the Rebbe entrusted with publishing his works – to continue to print the Rebbe’s Torah with the Kehos logo, as it deserves.
This ruling comes on the heels of a previous ruling in Tishrei, in which the court ruled that Vaad L’Hafotzas Sichos has rights to publishing the Rebbe’s Torah, differing from the issue in the current case, which dealt exclusively with the logo.
To download the complete opinion of the court, click here.