March 11, 2002
Partner William R. Golden appeared on CNN Live at Daybreak to provide expert commentary with respect to the trademark dispute surrounding the phrase "let's roll." The charitable foundation established in memory of September 11 victim Todd Beamer is seeking trademark protection for use of the term. It is believed that Beamer uttered this phrase before he and others on United Flight 93 averted further loss of life by confronting the plane's hijackers. Since then, "let's roll!" has become a catch phrase exemplifying the country's defiant and patriotic spirit, leading others outside the foundation to seek trademark protection for commercial use of the term. The dispute has led to a legal debate as to whether trademark protection can be invoked for a commonly-used phrase, and whether the "first in time" doctrine applies.