When Michael Julius Anton, from Virginia, wanted to patent his company Jesus Surfed he found that an Italian jeans label had already beaten him to it.
Jesus Jeans was registered with the US Patent and Trademark office in 2007 and lawyers have told Mr Anton he cannot trade commercially using his chosen name.
The company does not have a patent on images of Jesus – just his name.
Jesus Jeans has reportedly warned dozens other apparel start ups in the US against using Jesus in their brand since winning the patent.
Others to have been warned include ‘Jesus First’, ‘Sweet Jesus’ and ‘Jesus Couture’.