No. 59

The New US President and Intellectual Property

Unless you have been hiding in a cave, you will have probably heard that the United States voted for a new President this week.

In this month’s Heavens to Murgitroyd we look at two trade mark matters relating to the soon to be inaugurated President Trump.

“You’re Fired”

Donald Trump once tried to trademark “You’re Fired”, the catchphrase he regularly used on the US version of hit TV show The Apprentice.

Unfortunately for Mr Trump, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) rejected his application citing educational board game “You’re Hired” which was deemed to have sounded too similar to Trump’s catchphrase.

According to reports, he was hoping to use the catchphrase for clothing, games and casino services.

Parody Ducks

In a bid to force Mr Trump to release his tax returns in the run up to the election, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) created a parody of Disney’s “Donald Duck” and called it “Donald Ducks”. The mascot would attend Trump rallies and sometimes even stand outside Trump Tower in New York to heckle the President Nominate.

There was discussion of the fact that, if a false impression of association with “Donald Duck” was created among voters, the mascot could violate trade mark rights held by Disney in relation to the “Donald Duck” trade mark.

Like most, we don’t know what the Trump presidency will hold, but we hope the new President will “duck” any controversy as regards IP rights during his term in Office.