Whilst perusing a book of Trump quotes while buying a greetings card recently, I noted that one of his statements was directed toward an IP issue, namely his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again”, and how he’d trademarked the saying.
Given that a favourite pastime of the US media seems to be fact checking everything Trump and Clinton say, IPcopy took a gander at the USPTO trade mark register to find out.
As it turns out there are multiple registrations and applications for the mark in the name of either the individual “Donald J Trump”, or in the name of “Donald J Trump for President Inc”, a non-profit corporation based in New York.
Of interest was the fact that Donald Trump actually registered “Make America Great Again” all the way back in 2012, a few days after President Obama won his second term of presidency. This 2012 filing was directed towards political action committee services and fundraising in the field of politics so perhaps the Republican nominee’s run for presidency of the United States has a longer history than some of us appreciated.
There are over 10 versions or variations of the slogan Make America Great Again on the USPTO register, four of which are owned by Donald Trump. Trade mark filings subsequent to the one in 2012 expand coverage to items such as bumper stickers, clothing, campaign buttons, political promotion, online journals, social networking services, sports bags, umbrellas, pet clothing (really?) and swim wear (hmm).
The phrase “Make America Great Again” was not actually coined by Trump (despite what some stories seem to suggest) as Ronald Reagan actually used a version of the phrase back in 1980.
Trump also isn’t the first person to trade mark campaign materials with President Obama previously applying for trade mark protection for, among other things, a rising sun logo.
The Trump campaign website has a shop devoted to all the products you can buy. However, there appears to be no sign of any Trump branded swim wear, or maybe that should be swimming Trumps*, as suggested by one of the trade mark applications.
Mark Richardson 7 October 2016
*Yes, this entire post has indeed been written as an excuse to make this pun