No, Making Fun Of Donald Trump's Stupid Red Hat Isn't Trademark Infringement

from the 99-dumb-red-hats dept

If, like me, you find American presidential politics far more humorously entertaining than anything Adam Sandler has produced in the past decade (at least), you probably already know all about Donald Trump's stupid red hat. This isn't to say anything about Trump's politics, which are also stupid, but the hat he's trotting around with is objectively stupid and if you don't agree, well, you're wrong.

The Trump Mullet: business from the neck down, nationalism up top.
As it turns out, other people think Trump's stupid hat is stupid, as well. The Washington Post, for instance, decided to create a page dedicated to making all kinds of hats that want to make all kinds of things great again. And then there is NYC's Mayor Bill de Blasio, who decided to make fun of Trump's stupid hat by wearing his own stupid hat.
As you'll hear in that Fox News clip, news commentators are now discussing whether de Blasio's "Make America Fair Again" hat is a trademark violation, because Donald Trump has registered his "Make America Great Again" slogan. It's not just Fox News asking this question. The Daily Caller too has a post about just how close to or over the trademark violation line de Blasio crept with his hat.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio took a jab at Republican front-runner Donald Trump by wearing a red hat bearing the slogan “Make America Fair Again” during an interview Thursday on CNN, but he might have also violated trademark law in the process.
No, actually, he absolutely did not violate trademark law by making fun of Trump's hat with his own hat. There are any number of reasons why this is the case. Essentially, all de Blasio would have to do is shout "Parody!" at anyone discussing this and the conversation is over, as parody is protected under Fair Use. But even beyond that, Trump would have to demonstrate before a court that not only is de Blasio's hat not protected as parody, but that de Blasio is using his hat in commerce in competition with Trump's hat, that the two slogans aren't distinct enough to be easily separated in the mind of a moron in a hurry, and that anyone might be confused into thinking that Trump was behind the "fair" hat. None of those are the case. And, again, parody.

So, no, making fun of Trump's stupid hat isn't even remotely close to a trademark violation. Way to go, news media...

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  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 8 Oct 2015 @ 10:54am

    "Make America White Again"...pretty sure that's what Trump meant.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2015 @ 11:03am

    Is any more proof needed that politics has become a shouting match between rival gangs, encouraged by the peanut gallery that is the press.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    legumes, 8 Oct 2015 @ 11:08am

    so what else buries itself in the ground

    Please do not disparrage the noble peanut which is a useful plant in all its forms and applications by comparing it with the modern press media.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2015 @ 11:08am

    Fair Use and Parody

    The parity fair use exception is copyright law. They are talking about Trump's trademarks, not his copyrights.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 8 Oct 2015 @ 11:29am

    And different branches of commerce

    Blasio is engaging in politics whereas Trump is doing stand-up comedy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    James Nelson, 8 Oct 2015 @ 12:19pm

    de Blasio no one to talk

    Picking de Blasio to smack Trump was a prime choice. The guy is singlehandedly turning NYC into a sewer again. Maybe that's what his stupid hat should say. Or maybe it should say, "Let's Stab Cops In The Back Again" like the good old lawless NYC days of the 1970s and 1980s. But what else is to be expected of stupid leftists but stupidity?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2015 @ 12:39pm

      Re: de Blasio no one to talk

      Are you a vessel for hate?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2015 @ 12:57pm

      Re: de Blasio no one to talk

      As opposed to letting the cops continue to run roughshod over minorities because only white people should feel safe in NYC?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2015 @ 6:18pm

        Re: Re: de Blasio no one to talk

        Yes, this is exactly what the poster and others like it are saying. They are self righteous bigots and they are throwing a temper tantrum because they are not getting their way. How dare you treat everyone equal!!!111111

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2015 @ 3:17pm

      Re: de Blasio no one to talk

      What are you pissing about? He hired Bill "Broken Windows" Bratton as police commissioner!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    James Nelson, 8 Oct 2015 @ 1:47pm

    NYPD

    Yes, I'm a member, a tool, and a vessel.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 8 Oct 2015 @ 2:10pm

    But, but, but... there might be brand confuuuuuusion!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2015 @ 2:25pm

    The asshole runs for president because he's millionaire.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 9 Oct 2015 @ 12:16am

      Re:

      Uh, yes? That's how the political system in the U.S. is rigged. Put a mop on a chimpanzee and give him a few dozen million dollars and he'll make the race against anybody having a brain and a conscience but not half the money.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2015 @ 3:15pm

    The Daily Caller too has a post about just how close to or over the trademark violation line de Blasio crept with his hat.
    Well what do you expect from a cesspool of a site like that?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2015 @ 3:32pm

    Can we please "Make America Trump Free NOW"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kronomex, 8 Oct 2015 @ 3:43pm

    The hat might be stupid but it's far more intelligent than the brain under it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2015 @ 4:13pm

    Fox news anchors have a habit of making suggestive comments when they don't know the answer to a question.

    >Obama renames Mt. Mckinley
    "Not sure how he can do that..."

    @0:25
    https://youtu.be/9H9CEK-771I?t=25s

    The point about news is to find the answers and inform the public, not perpetuate ignorance and divisiveness.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    cypherspace (profile), 8 Oct 2015 @ 5:08pm

    If there is one thing Trump's candidacy is good for, it's for demonstrating what a complete farce our political system has become. I really can't shed any tears about the "journalistic" stenographers who've provoked his wrath.

    "But Trump can't be bought off by donors and lobbyists!" - Yeah, because for the better part of 30+ years that's exactly what he's been doing to our politicians. Guess we've finally decided to cut out the middleman and let the plutocrats run for office.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2015 @ 7:10pm

    Hmm

    That red hat looks better on him than the other hairy one he usually wears...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Paul Alan Levy (profile), 8 Oct 2015 @ 7:46pm

    WHICH "legal analysts"?

    I just note that Fox did not identify the "legal analysts [who allegedly] say that Trump may have a case against de Blasio ...." Did they demand anonymity to protect their reputations?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2015 @ 4:37am

    I think he's got a shot at winning. It's not because he's particularly clever, or political savvy, or even because he's rich. It may be a "stupid" hat, and his hair does look like it was styled by a leaf blower... but he truly believe's the United States is exceptional, and that might be enough, all by itself, to win.

    It seem's to me he thinks Americans are tired of being told they are not special, that American "Exceptionalism" is wrong. It was suggested that neoconservatives believe that the people of the United States are "God Like" or "God's Chosen" or whatever.. he seem's to believe that is just as wrong as the far lefts belief that we are just the same as every one else, that we are no different than Mexico or Canada.

    I get part of what he's saying, and it does appeal to my sense of national pride.

    The people of the Unites States ARE exceptional, just as the people of Canada and Mexico are exceptional in their minds. Trump is sayings it's ok to be exceptional, it's ok to think the United States is the best country in the world. Granted he's got a strange, somewhat childish way of getting that point across... but he's not fake, he really believes it.

    Looking at some of his positions, he may be the best thing that every happened to the left. He doesn't want to defund planned parenthood, he's all for single payer, if the left could get him to soften his stance on illegal immigration, I would argue he's more democrat than republican.

    Regardless of if you think his hat is "stupid", and really feel that pointing that out at least 6 times or so is required to get your point across, regardless of if you think his politics are stupid, which you felt compelled to point out as well, he believes in what he's doing. It's been a long time since I've seen a presidential candidate that truly believed, and would shout it from any podium you give him, that the United States is exceptional.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Oct 2015 @ 11:20am

      Re:

      and it does appeal to my sense of national pride.

      Regardless of if you think his hat is "stupid", and really feel that pointing that out at least 6 times or so is required to get your point across, regardless of if you think his politics are stupid, which you felt compelled to point out as well, he believes in what he's doing. It's been a long time since I've seen a presidential candidate that truly believed, and would shout it from any podium you give him, that the United States is exceptional.


      If we only believed... I think I heard that before.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    G Thompson (profile), 11 Oct 2015 @ 12:49am

    Wouldn't the case be though that if anyone actually is a Trump supporter then by evidence of such that they ARE a moron.. in a hurry or otherwise

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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