Trump Campaign Wants To Trademark 'Keep America Great'

from the will-be-watched-closely dept

It appears that Donald Trump -- or, more specifically, whatever remains of the organization that was his Presidential campaign -- has asked the US Patent and Trademark Office (US PTO, which Donald Trump now controls, as President) to give the campaign a trademark on the phrase "Keep America Great!" for use on bumper stickers, signs, placards, pamphlets, clothing, campaign buttons and more. One imagines that they are already gearing up for the expected campaign slogan of the 2020 re-election campaign. Of course, as Paul Levy at Public Citizen points out, someone else had already tried to trademark that phrase last year, and had it rejected by the PTO on the (correct) grounds that a "slogan" can't be taken out of the public domain and trademarked. Indeed, the rejection letter notes many examples of the slogan already in widespread use, recognizing that giving one guy the trademark on it wouldn't make any sense.

And therein lies the big question: now that the PTO is technically controlled by Trump, will it suddenly now allow the Trump campaign to register that very same trademark that it rejected from someone else two months ago? Or will it (properly) reject it on the same grounds that the phrase is already in widespread use and a political campaign can't just snatch it from public use and claim it as its own? One hopes that the PTO will do the right thing and reject this trademark application as well. Many of us will be watching.

 

Filed Under: donald trump, keep america great, trademark, trump campaign, uspto


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  1. identicon
    I.T. Guy, 25 Jan 2017 @ 9:52am

    Are we great yet?™

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2017 @ 10:06am

    Out of all the tech dirt to come out during the election that techdirt.com didnt cover...

    this is what you finally decided to write up?


    ive read techdirt for a long time and agreed with many of the articles but now im done with this cucked website.

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

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2017 @ 10:13am

    Ahhh Trump - the fuckstick just took office and I've been laughing like hell every single day. I haven't had this much to laugh about since Bush II. I'm not going to be able to take much more of this - he's just so patently stupid, that the jokes write themselves.

    That he'd use a phrase from The Purge: Election year is beyond priceless:

    http://mashable.com/2017/01/18/the-purge-trump-2020/#TukY1UEFQmqK

    Oh Trump, you big twatwaffle, you - "I'm laughing at the superior intellect." - James Kirk

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

  4. identicon
    Baron von Robber, 25 Jan 2017 @ 10:18am

    Re:

    ...said the ignoramus.

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

  5. identicon
    Baron von Robber, 25 Jan 2017 @ 10:20am

    Re:

    As Lewis Black puts it, to paraphrase, "This stuff just writes itself. I'll just come on stage with a newspaper, read it, and we'll all "HAHAHA!" and go home."

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2017 @ 10:26am

    Re:

    Uh huh.

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

  7. identicon
    I.T. Guy, 25 Jan 2017 @ 10:35am

    Re:

    "ive read techdirt for a long time"

    Then you SHOULD know this is the EXACT thing TD covers.

    "Out of all the tech dirt to come out during the election that techdirt.com didnt cover."
    Like what? Citation needed.

    Tell us oh cranky one... What would you like to see more or less of?

    Done be shy bruh.

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

  8. icon
    John85851 (profile), 25 Jan 2017 @ 10:37am

    Re:

    I guess laughing like hell everyday is better than crying uncontrollably because the American people elected this guy to become president and leader of the free world.

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

  9. identicon
    I.T. Guy, 25 Jan 2017 @ 10:37am

    Re:

    "he's just so patently stupid"
    Ba dum tsss!!!

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

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2017 @ 10:39am

    Re:

    Idiots unite!
    Leave TD for greener grass

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

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2017 @ 10:40am

    Re: Re:

    The idiot does not know what the word "lead" means.

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

  12. icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 25 Jan 2017 @ 10:41am

    Tinkle Tinkle Little Czar

    Perhaps more about internet leaks.

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

  13. identicon
    Thad, 25 Jan 2017 @ 10:43am

    Re:

    No, wait, stop, come back.

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

  14. identicon
    Thad, 25 Jan 2017 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re:

    > the American people elected this guy

    Well, the electoral college did, anyway.

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

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2017 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re:

    It's the kind of signature style that almost deserves a trademark...

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

  16. icon
    Berenerd (profile), 25 Jan 2017 @ 11:01am

    Re:

    In who's eyes is the question. Great is a matter of opinion.If its by approval ratings, then Trump is not great by a long shot.

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

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2017 @ 11:01am

    #KAGA

    Not quite the same ring as #MAGA but it beats the alternative miles.

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

  18. icon
    Berenerd (profile), 25 Jan 2017 @ 11:08am

    Re:

    I agree! Make Techdirt Great again!



    /sarc

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

  19. icon
    Berenerd (profile), 25 Jan 2017 @ 11:11am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Kind of like trade marking the way you walk!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iV2ViNJFZC8

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

  20. icon
    Vidiot (profile), 25 Jan 2017 @ 11:28am

    Re:

    "... but now im done with this cucked website."

    TD and cucumbers... what a combo! Make cucumbers great again!

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

  21. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2017 @ 11:34am

    #kag

    Hmmm....Keep America Great would be #kag for short.

    Urban dictionary offers these few definitions of kag that I found completely appropriate:

    kag

    To trip someone quickly and make them fall to the ground. To sweep the leg. Possibly used exclusively in a ghetto in West Alabama.

    Trying to register something that was already denied kagged that dude up!

    or....even better:

    Kag

    A disgusting being; rude and hated; found disturbing and ugly; hated and unwanted; considered socially awkward.

    The orange, small-handed man was considered a kag to all the other children.

    Maybe the PTO should reconsider just because it would be fucking funny as hell?

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

  22. icon
    Stan (profile), 25 Jan 2017 @ 11:59am

    Great Again?

    I saw a video clip of Pres. Ronald Reagan using this phrase during one of his campaigns.

    If phrase like this a "trademark-able", then doesn't that imply that Donald used Reagan's material, presumably without permission?

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

  23. identicon
    Thad, 25 Jan 2017 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Great Again?

    I know you're joking and I'm reading way too much into it, but:

    Trademarks can lapse without becoming generic, and somebody else can buy a lapsed trademark. Marvel Comics, for example, launched several superheroes in the 1960's who had the same name as superheroes who had previously been published by now-defunct competitors, the most famous of which are probably Captain Marvel and Daredevil.

    That said, though, I'm pretty skeptical that "keep America great" can be trademarked. Then again, McDonald's has a trademark on "Smile" and Microsoft has a trademark on "Windows", so obviously the law doesn't always line up with my personal opinion on what is and isn't a generic term.

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

  24. identicon
    David, 25 Jan 2017 @ 2:10pm

    Why bother?

    The likelihood of infringement from outside the Trump campaign would appear minuscule.

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

  25. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2017 @ 7:24pm

    Re:

    Woo that's bingo on my alt-reich beta bingo card thanks!

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

  26. icon
    TechnoMage (profile), 26 Jan 2017 @ 12:53am

    Re: Re:

    I'm sorry, but "being great" is NOT subjective. Just ask the number of children going hungry in the US, or the number of of people with lead in their drinking water... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q49NOyJ8fNA

    The Newsroom "America is not the greatest country in the world anymore" 2012 TV series

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

  27. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 26 Jan 2017 @ 2:12am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It would be if you just got rid of the partisan pattycake game that keeps the nation divided. Then you'd be able to take a commonsense, evidence-based approach to your problems, resolve them, then be all smug about it on the world stage. And everyone would be too busy following your lead to be resentful about it.

    A girl can dream.

    Hmm... can I trademark that for use on stickers, buttons, etc.?

    Meanwhile, isn't as dodgy as hell, and therefore illegal, to milk public office like that? He's like Scrooge McDuck already with wealth, how much more does Trump need?

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

  28. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 26 Jan 2017 @ 2:16am

    Re:

    Pattycake, pattycake
    That's the plan
    Divide and conquer — yes we can
    Slap 'em with labels if they disagree
    Keep the nation divided, pretend that it's free

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

  29. icon
    NeghVar (profile), 26 Jan 2017 @ 4:29am

    Phrase

    At least it is a Phrase instead of individual common words like some companies have done.

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

  30. icon
    Ninja (profile), 26 Jan 2017 @ 4:49am

    "now that the PTO is technically controlled by Trump"

    He already gagged the environmental agencies to prevent them from releasing facts that go against his climate change denial so... Yep.

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

  31. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2017 @ 5:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    They do not even try to hide it anymore. Outright and blatant in your face corruption, and then they proudly proclaim - "What ja gonna do bout it?"

    Apparently, this is what makes america great. The question is, for whom and the answer is quite obvious.

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

  32. icon
    JP (profile), 26 Jan 2017 @ 8:06am

    Re: Re:

    Hmmm, tech and cucumbers. That gives me an idea for a new IOT.

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

  33. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2017 @ 10:19am

    pre-emptive sloganeering

    Was not Mr Trump's campaign slogan to "Make America Great Again"?

    Keeping it great, and making it great again presuppose contradictory propositions.

    "Make X great Again" presupposes that X is no longer great, and needs to be made great again.

    "Keep X great", on the contrary, presupposes that X is currently great.

    It is a retort to "Make X great again".

    Mr Trump's campaign cannot coherently lay claim to a slogan that rejects the foundation of their own primary slogan.

    How they would use such a claim, were it granted, to pre-empt its use by their critics, is pretty obvious.

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

  34. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2017 @ 10:26am

    Re: Why bother?

    Really?

    "Keep America Great: Stop Trump from revoking/changing X, Y, and Z!"

    Is that so hard to imagine?

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

  35. identicon
    Thad, 26 Jan 2017 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's not fair. Scrooge McDuck was a hardworking immigrant who earned his fortune himself.

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

  36. identicon
    Thad, 26 Jan 2017 @ 3:02pm

    Re: pre-emptive sloganeering

    He's claiming it instantaneously became great as soon as he took office, obviously.

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

  37. icon
    The Wanderer (profile), 27 Jan 2017 @ 7:55am

    Re: Re: pre-emptive sloganeering

    Or else is presuming that it will have become great (again) by the time he wants to use the phrase he's currently attempting to trademark.

    Given that he apparently trademarked "Make America Great Again" shortly after Obama's (second?) election victory, the idea that this is preparatory for the 2020 campaign is not at all implausible, and it would make perfect sense in that context.

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

  38. icon
    bookwallah (profile), 28 Jan 2017 @ 7:45pm

    Re: laughing like hell

    One of the Walpoles wisely said that "Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think." I too am immensely amused by Trump, not the first time I have agreed with Anonymous Coward. But in my more lucid moments I try to remember that his buffoonery will immiserate, and maybe cause the death of, countless human beings (and animals, given the likely end of factory-farming animal protection regulations). Now I am off to see what this The Purge is.

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

  39. icon
    bookwallah (profile), 28 Jan 2017 @ 7:47pm

    the word lead

    "lead" only in the sense that a mule driver with a whip csn be said to lead the mule.

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

  40. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Feb 2017 @ 7:54am

    America was never great

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


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