Mother Teresa's Famous Sari Is Now Trademarked

Her mission in India has the rights to the blue-bordered design
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2017 1:48 PM CDT
Mother Teresa's Famous Sari Is Now Trademarked
Mother Teresa in a 1996 file photo. She's holding the resolutions of honorary American citizenship after they were presented to her by American Ambassador to India Frank G. Wisner.   (AP Photo, File)

The nuns who belong to Mother Teresa's order were willing to forgive and forget groups taking advantage of their late matriarch's image. Their lawyer? Not so much. And that's why the Missionaries of Charity in India now owns the trademark to the saint's famous blue-bordered sari, reports the Guardian. It seems that organizations all over the world were making use of the design and suggesting, intentionally or not, that they were affiliated with the group. The nuns of the order shrugged it off for years, saying, "One day the people will understand they are doing the wrong thing," per attorney Biswajit Sarkar, who began going after the trademark for the order in 2013.

"Now if anybody is misrepresenting the Missionaries of Charity we can take severe legal action," he says. The former Sister Mary Teresa began wearing the distinctive, blue-striped sari in the late 1940s when she got permission to leave her convent and begin working among India's poor, recounts the Times of India. Today, about 4,000 of the saris are woven annually and distributed to the order's nuns around the world. Attorney Sarkar says this is the first time a trademark has been issued for a religious uniform. (Pope Francis made Teresa a saint last year.)

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