The 2016 presidential contest once again pushed trademark law into the news. A few weeks ago, it was the Democrats. Now it’s the Republicans. Well, sort of.
John Oliver’s late-night show aired a segment critical of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. In the segment, Oliver pointed out that the Trump family name was originally “Drumpf” and launched a campaign to “make Donald Drumpf again.” A few days before the segment aired, Drumpf Industries, LLC – a company created by Oliver – applied for a trademark on “Drumpf”.
The Trademark Office recently issued an office action rejecting the “Drumpf” application based on the section of the Trademark Act that prohibits the registration as a trademark of a name of a living person without their consent. But does that section of the Act apply here where the name in question is not a name actually being used by the living person? Drumpf Industries can still respond to the office action to support the application. What will they say?
Photo credit: Alex Hanson