#NeverDRUMPF

World IP Review reports that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has issued an initial refusal of a pending trademark application for DRUMPF on the grounds that the mark allegedly consists of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s ancestral name.  The application, filed by a company called Drumpf Industries, LLC, appears to have been inspired by a comedic effort by talk show host John Oliver to “Make Donald Drumpf Again,” a play on Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again.”  According to the USPTO, “the applied-for mark consists of or comprises a name, portrait, or signature identifying a particular living individual whose written consent to register the mark is not of record.”  The refusal is based on Trademark Act Section 2(c), 15 U.S.C. §1052(c), which provides that “[n]o trademark by which the goods of the applicant may be distinguished from the goods of others shall be refused registration on the principal register on account of its nature unless it… [c]onsists of or comprises a name, portrait, or signature identifying a particular living individual except by his written consent, or the name, signature, or portrait of a deceased President of the United States during the life of his widow, if any, except by the written consent of the widow.”  This provision protects living individuals from having their names appropriated as trademarks by third parties without their consent, regardless of whether or not they are famous, or are public figures.  Since Trump, a prolific trademark filer himself, seems unlikely to be willing to provide his consent to what appears to be an unrelated company, the applicant is unlikely to be able to overcome the USPTO’s refusal to register.  Potential trademark applicants would be wise to remember that the primary purpose of trademark law is to prevent, rather than enable, the trading by one party on the name of another.  Read the article here.  From World IP Review.

 By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America (Donald Trump) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via  Wikimedia Commons .

By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America (Donald Trump) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.