Back in 2006, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued the “Trump Your Competition” trademark to a Nevada-based marketing consulting firm, Trump Your Competition. The trademark was cancelled in 2012 when Trump Your Competition (the company, not the trademark) failed to pay the renewal fee for Trump Your Competition (the trademark, not the company).
When the majority shareholder in Trump Your Competition (the company, not the trademark), one Antony Seruga, learned that the trademark had been cancelled, he re-applied for the trademark registration in November of 2013. No sooner was the trademark application published, that none other than one Donald Trump (the candidate, not the trademark) filed an opposition to the trademark registration in July of 2014. The Donald’s opposition was based on the similarity in name, sound, and meaning between “Trump Your Competition” (the trademark, not the company) and Donald Trump’s numerous trademarks, possible confusion that Trump Your Competition (the company and the trademark) might be affiliated with or sponsored by Donald Trump, and damage to the goodwill of Donald Trump and his brands.
Trump Your Competition (the company, not the trademark) issued a subpoena to Donald Trump for a deposition in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board regarding Trump’s opposition to the trademark re-filing. Donald Trump’s attorney refused to let him testify based on the “high status” and “high profile” of Donald Trump, that he would not have time for the deposition, and that he had no personal knowledge of any information relevant to the proceeding. Trump’s attorney offered – as an alternative – that Donald Trump’s son, Eric Trump, could be deposed.
And on and on, and so forth and so forth. The lesson? Renew your trademarks. If Trump the Competition (the company, not the trademark) had paid the renewal fee for Trump the Competition (the trademark, not the company), we’d have had to find something else to write about this month.