Mother Teresa’s distinguished blue-rimmed white cotton sari has officially become a trademarked symbol. It’s the first time a religious uniform has ever been claimed as a legally-registered design, protected from unauthorized copying under the penalty of law.
The sari design is now the “exclusive intellectual property” of the Missionaries of Charity, the order the late Calcutta nun founded in 1950, Biswajit Sarkar, a lawyer for the Missionaries of Charity, said the trademark was established to stop the “misuse” of the saint’s reputation.
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The trademark was granted last year after Biswajit Sarkar, a pro bono lawyer for the order, filed for exclusive rights to the design along with the name Mother Teresa in 2013. Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in 1910 to an Albanian family, Mother Teresa joined a Kolkata-based convent aged 21.