SubGenius Wikia Clench

Close-up of the Registered Trademark symbol as it appears on the True Dobbshead

The Church of the SubGenius is the worlds' first post-industrial religion and proud to pay its taxes, unlike some lesser institutions. As such, it implicitly buys into the legal frameworok of the US Government (despite their role in the conspiracy). The SubGenius Foundation, Inc. holds trademarks on certain intellectual property relating to the Church itself and its sacred iconography. While Rev. Ivan Stang may hate filing the forms, as Sacred Scribe he is compelled to manage the Sacred Trademarks.


Ordained SubGenii are generally granted the permission to use most of them (Church names, neologisms, the Dobbshead, , et al) provided there is an appropriate tithing for profit-making endeavors. Non-profit use is generally tolerated under fair use. When the need arises, Rev. Stang must defend these marks from infringement by the non-saved.

Legal History[]

There are two cases where the Dobbshead specifically was an issue, and one court case brought against all the marks held by the Church.

In 1992, the band Sublime put a Dobbshead on the label (and CD front) for their album "40oz to Freedom". Their out-of-court settlement with Stang was for all of the members of Sublime to become ordained SubGenius ministers. This was actually INCREDIBLY cheap compared to possible alternatives like having The SubGenius Foundation, Inc. receive a percentage of the profits for sales of that Sublime album. It is estimated to have cost less than $100, which is like pennies to a band that sells millions of copies of its music.

Between 1995 and 1996, Slackware Linux CDs (version 3.0) had a Dobbshead printed on the CD. As the name implies, Slackware was always influenced by the Church, and its creator Rev. Patrick Volkerding was and is a minister in good standing. According to sources, when Stang contacted him about the use of the Sacred Trademark, Volkerding proactively decided to stop printing Dobbsheads on the CDs. The main reason for that is that Linux is free and open source software that tries not to include copyrighted material that isn't made available for free to anyone(under a "copyleft" license such as the GNU GPL and related).

In 2004, Michael Houser brought suit against the Church after one of the renewals of the Sacred Trademark, claiming "liklihood of confusion" and that the term SubGenius had become a generic reference (a la "Kleenex" and "xerox"). The case dragged on until 2006 when it was dismissed with prejudice.Media:Example.ogg