November 6, 2013 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
2nd group petitions bankruptcy court for NAPWA trademarks
NAPWA, National Gay Men's AIDS Awareness Day, gay news, Washington Blade

NAPWA’s National Gay Men’s AIDS Awareness Day on Sept. 27, 2012 in Freedom Plaza. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The D.C.-based Community Education Group, which provides AIDS-related services aimed at minority communities, has offered to purchase the name of the National Association of People with AIDS and five additional names used by the association before it filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last February.

In an Oct. 31 letter to the trustee in charge of NAPWA’s case before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Maryland, Community Education Group Executive Director A. Toni Young extended an offer of $15,000 for the trademark rights to each of the six names.

The names, in addition to NAPWA’s, include National HIV Testing Day, National Gay Men’s Awareness Day, National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Healthy Living Summit, and AIDS Watch.

The offer by Community Education Group came about one month after the D.C.-based national group Health HIV offered to pay $3,000 for the trademark rights to just one of those names – National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

Trustee Laura Margulies responded to the Health HIV offer by requesting and receiving permission from the bankruptcy judge to reopen NAPWA’s bankruptcy case, which had been closed three months earlier, to allow consideration for the trademark sale.

Court records show that at Margulies’ request, Judge Paul Manes on Nov. 1 agreed to modify an earlier decision to reopen the case for one week by keeping it open at least until Dec. 23 to enable other parties to bid on the trademark rights.

Young told the Blade that her group learned of Health HIV’s bid for one of the names from a Blade story about the proposed trademark sale published on Oct. 26. She said her group made its offer, in part, to slow down the process of the sale of NAPWA’s names and to make the process more transparent.

“We want to partner with other national AIDS groups to make sure the events associated with these names are not lost,” said Young, who added that the various events that NAPWA established under the names played an important role in educating the public about HIV AIDS and its devastating impact on gay men and on other minorities.

“We don’t want to lose these things,” she said.

Brian Hujdich, executive director of Health HIV, did not respond to calls from the Blade for comment on his group’s plans for using the name it sought to purchase.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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