KEEP AMERICA GREAT

Predicting success in his effort to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, President Donald Trump has filed a new trademark application – focusing on his 2020 presidential campaign.  The new slogan: KEEP AMERICA GREAT.

keepamericagreat

The intent-to-use registration application for the mark KEEP AMERICA GREAT was filed on January 18, 2017 on behalf of the Delaware Corporation known as “Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.,” Headquartered in Trump Tower, New York. Attorney of record is Patrice Jean of Hughes Hubbard.

Apparently, Trump coined the phrase during in the midst of a WaPo interview.  The following is a printed excerpt:

Halfway through his interview with The Washington Post, Trump shared a bit of news: He already has decided on his slogan for a reelection bid in 2020.

“Are you ready?” he said. “ ‘Keep America Great,’ exclamation point.”

“Get me my lawyer!” the president-elect shouted.

Two minutes later, one arrived.

“Will you trademark and register, if you would, if you like it — I think I like it, right? Do this: ‘Keep America Great,’ with an exclamation point. With and without an exclamation. ‘Keep America Great,’ ” Trump said.

“Got it,” the lawyer replied.

That bit of business out of the way, Trump returned to the interview.

One potential issue with the registration process is that Andreas Mueller filed a registration application for the same mark back in 2016 (although with a narrower set of classes).  His registration application was recently rejected by the TM examiner (Doritt Carroll) for “failure to function.”  Quoting the TMEP:

Registration is refused because the applied-for mark merely conveys an informational social, political, religious, or similar kind of message; it does not function as a trademark to indicate the source of applicant’s goods and to identify and distinguish them from others. Trademark Act Sections 1, 2, 3, and 45, 15 U.S.C. §§1051-1053, 1127; see In re Hulting, 107 USPQ2d 1175, 1177 (TTAB 2013) (holding NO MORE RINOS!, a slogan meaning “No More Republicans In Name Only,” not registrable for a variety of paper items, shirts, and novelty buttons because the mark would be perceived as a commonly used political slogan and not a trademark); In re Eagle Crest, Inc., 96 USPQ2d 1227, 1229-31 (TTAB 2010) (holding ONCE A MARINE, ALWAYS A MARINE not registrable for clothing items because the mark would be perceived as an old and familiar Marine expression and not a trademark); In re Volvo Cars of N. Am., Inc., 46 USPQ2d 1455, 1460-61 (TTAB 1998) (holding DRIVE SAFELY not registrable for automobiles and automobile parts because the mark would be perceived as a familiar safety admonition and not a trademark); TMEP §1202.04.

. . .

The evidence attached to the office action dated November 17, 2016, showed that the applicant’s slogan is commonly used as a counter to the “Make America Great Again” phrase, and thus functions to advocate for openness and inclusiveness, among other things. Because consumers are accustomed to seeing this slogan or term commonly used in everyday speech by many different sources, the public will not perceive the term or slogan as a trademark or service mark that identifies the source of applicant’s goods and/or services but rather only as conveying an informational message.

As a pro se applicant who is apparently not doing much actual hat-selling, Mueller may have some difficulty overcoming this rejection.  I expect that it will be much easier work for Trump’s team.

 

Dennis Crouch

About Dennis Crouch

Law Professor at the University of Missouri School of Law. Co-director of the Center for Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship.

72 thoughts on “KEEP AMERICA GREAT

  1. OK, Dennis, I am curious: Why do you “expect that it will be much easier work for Trump’s team”? Do you mean that Trump can sell more hats? Do you mean that Trump will prevail at the PTO, and somehow be exempt from the rules that apply to other applicants? Or to you mean that Trumps lawyers will be better at demonstrating that the slogan functions as a trademark for the goods and services listed in his application?

    1. 1) He has excellent lawyers; 2) his is likely to actually be selling stuff with the logo. I hope that there is no attempt to otherwise influence the PTO to ensure favorable treatment.

      1. Er, yes, it did. And China is very pleased about that.

        I feel a bit silly making this point, because I think it is stupid and dangerous to see the world as if we are “competing” with China. But Pres. Trump sees it that way, which is why it is bemusing to see him taking us out of the TPP.

        The TPP was a way of solidifying U.S. influence in the Pacific to the detriment of China. China is positively delighted to see it fall apart, and is already making plans to step into the vacuum we left in our wake.

        I was not a great fan of the TPP, and am not really sorry to see it fail, but that is because I think (as noted above) that it is not helpful to frame international relations in a way that we are China’s “rival.” Given that Pres. Trump definitely does see China as a “rival,” however, he could not have taken a more bone-headed step (from within the perspective that he purports to employ).

        1. “we are China’s “rival.” ”

          You have that backwards brosef. We are not their rival. They are our rival. Or at least they want to be.

          And that has nothing to do with how we frame things, that has to do with reality. They want to make commieism GRAET. Good for them. The more capitalistic they become, strangely, the better their “communist” nation becomes.

          1. You have that backwards… We are not their rival. They are our rival. Or at least they want to be.

            Fair enough. Rephrase it as you like, my broader point still stands—talk of ‘rivalry’ is not sound or helpful way to frame international relations. Individual U.S. citizens might well be competing with individual Chinese citizens, although it is also the case that some teams of Chinese and U.S. citizens compete with other teams of Chinese and/or U.S. citizens. One way or the other, however, at the level of nations—not citizens—the United States is not ‘competing’ with China in any meaningful sense.

            1. I’d disagree, we compete with all nations all the time, forever. That is the nature of power. That’s just how that ball bounces.

              But in any event, I don’t agree with you on your more fundamental premise that this is some sort of huge boon to China. It will fck their workers same as ours, and it will provide their country with overall gain, just like it would have for ours. Gain they may need, but which we could safely forego. If they’re willing to offer up their comrades then so be it. Eventually they may wise up same as we did. Presuming they don’t have a huge crash.

    1. That kind of winning we WANT them to have.

      Please tell me that you recognize the TPP for the CRP that it was, Greg.

  2. The executive orders Tr mp signed Wednesday call for b00sting the ranks of Border Pat r0l forces by an additional 5,000 agents as well as for 10,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers to carry out deportations.

    Feel the shrinkage of the Federal Government! Just tremendous!

    1. Well, MM, what happens to the price of labor (American union labor) when one reduces the supply of cheap (all but slave) labor that is the stuff of illegal immigration?

      Yeah for every agent hired, every union man in America makes just that much more.

      And, aren’t you ashamed of yourself for advocating the use of all-but-slave labor?

      1. It seems to me that if we really wanted to end the use of all-but-slave labor, we would change our laws to make it easier for those workers to enter this country legally and to work legally. So long as the proposed solution is “round ’em up & ship ’em back,” I will remain skeptical that the one complaining of all-but-slave labor really cares about the inhumanity of the present situation.

              1. I am not understanding your response. I said that we should make it easy for workers to come here and work legally as an alternative to all-but-slavery, and you tell me about the Bracero program. The Bracero program was all-but-slavery. It indentured workers to their sponsors. That is not at all what I am suggesting in 5.2.1.

                The way to end slave labor is to stop treating laborers like slaves. We should make it easy for Latin Americans (or anyone else willing to live peaceably within our borders) to register their entry with the proper authorities and in return be granted work authorization for any employer who will have them within the constraints that apply to any other employee (OSHA, NLRA, minimum wage, etc).

                1. Greg, understood. Even today, such foreign workers are tied to their employers and because of that have reduced wages that in turn reduce the wages of other Americans.

                  I think Trump is against that.

                2. Exactly. Which is why we should want a guest worker program that leaves immigrants free to move among employers. We should want to remove the coercive power that employers have over foreign workers. It is that coercive power, much more than the workers themselves, that depresses the prevailing wage that U.S. workers command.

                3. Also Greg, the Braceros program apparently required the American employer to house, keep track of and make sure the migrant labor returned when the work was over. There were programs something like this in Europe also. I recently saw a movie set in Italy right after World War II where migrant farm workers were transported and housed by their employers, etc.

                  But I think also that we need to assure that wages of American workers are not cut by low cost foreign employees regardless of whether the work abroad or they migrate here. In this regard we should assure that every migrant worker is paid at least a minimal wage and that their employers be additionally taxed a fee that offsets the cost of the federal government keeping track of these workers. This fee could be waived if the employer could demonstrate that the foreign worker was paid substantially more, let us say, 20% more, than comparable American workers in his employ.

      2. [F]or every agent hired, every union man in America makes just that much more.

        This seems simplistic and unlikely to me. Human individuals rarely function as interchangeable cogs. It matters not just “how many” but also “which ones.”

  3. link to scientistsmarchonwashington.com

    Slashing funding and restricting scientists from communicating their findings (from tax-funded research!) with the public is absurd and cannot be allowed to stand as policy. This is a non-partisan issue that reaches far beyond people in the STEM fields and should concern anyone who values empirical research and science.

    There are certain things that we accept as facts with no alternatives. The Earth is becoming warmer due to human action. The diversity of life arose by evolution. Politicians who devalue expertise risk making decisions that do not reflect reality and must be held accountable.

    Possibly of interest to patent attorneys, patent agents and Examiners, although it’s also a fact that the once strong relationship between patents and science/ technology has become highly attenuated for well-known reasons.

      1. Apparently the phenomenal increase in information-laden and abstraction-laden “limiations” in claims is just one of those facts that is “anon” and his “alternative fact”-worshipping cohorts find too unpleasant for their “worldview.”

        Please keep the laughs coming, “anon”! And try to speak up. It’s difficult to hear you when your head is buried three feet up your large intestine.

        1. It is instead your rather bizarre twisting of facts of what is the most plentiful (and yes – most accessible) form of innovation today that needs scrutiny, Malcolm.

          Yet, you are the one with the head buried in the nether regions when it comes to the dichotomy that you so fervently follow with your PER SE anti-software patent stance.

          Oopsie for you.

      2. And remember, folks: in “anon’s” bizarr0 world, Bilski, Mayo and Alice were examples of the Supreme Court going waaaaaaaaaaay out of its way to punish “anon” and his super awesome and important heroes. Because prior to those oh-so-unfair decisions the patent system was just chugging along normally, as it always did. Yup.

        And it’s “unethical” to suggest otherwise. Yes, “anon” is a very, very serious person indeed.

        Judge Rich’s corpse called and asked for you, “anon.” He wants his suit altered. Seems like it’s getting a bit too big.

        LOL

      3. Isn’t a bit odd how “anon’s” h@tred for Emperor Tangerine keeps exhibiting itself in the form of derisive comments towards any one or any group who dares post some criticism of the orange l i ar-in-chief?

        Nobody could have predicted that.

        LOL

        1. Except you are doing that confusing a shot at YOU with something else again.

          Do you really have that big of a deficiency in your logic capabilities? Are you really that full of yourself?

          You are after all the Trump of this blog…

  4. Don’t worry anon, the candidate for DNC chair from Idaho us all she’s going to make it her mission to s h ut up w hite mal es like MM. So soon we won’t have to hear from him (unless he sw aps g en der!).

  5. Pres. Trump is going to have a hard time delivering on this slogan.

    The United States is already enjoying the longest consecutive run of job growth on record, and it would be totally unprecedented to go 10 more years without a downturn.

    The longest consecutive run of job growth on record. I wonder which president presided over that?

    1. “I wonder which president presided over that?”

      I wonder which president literally doubled the national debt and spent more deficit spending than any pres in history to do so?

      1. Oh noes! The deficit! Always the worse thing ever … unless it’s a Republican administration doing the spending, of course.

        Maybe try a script that wasn’t a j0ke already ten years ago, 6. We understand that it’s for you to keep up with this stuff given that you were still filling your diapers when The Chimperor drove the budget and the economy over the cliff. You thought we’d all forgotten that?

        Oh, and by the way: The shooter was a Trump supporter

        S-ck it.

        1. “unless it’s a Republican administration doing the spending, of course.”

          I’m not a huge fan regardless of which “party” does it. And I’m certainly not a huge fan of doing it to the tune of trillions when our taxes coming in are barely trillions themselves.

        2. “The Chimperor drove the budget and the economy over the cliff. You thought we’d all forgotten that?”

          I don’t even know who the “chimperor” is, though I presume you’re not being RAYCYST to obama because you usually keep your RAYCYSM strictly for white people.

          But if you’re referring to the “housing crisis” are you familiar with what actually caused the “housing crisis”? Hint: it involves your “muh victims” and their not being able to afford housing loans and the gubmit trying to make those loans “more affordable” through “policy” without actually doing so and the whole scheme blowing up in everyone’s faces. Because, “muh victims”.

          1. The Chimperor. I am not a fan of such name-calling, but seeing as you purport not to recognize the allusion, I thought I would point you to the meme to which the allusion is being made.

            I never liked Pres. Bush when he was in office, but the last week is making me almost nostalgic for 2005.

      2. I gather you think that this is a bad trade off (unprecedented debt but also unprecedented job growth). I am not convinced that this is such a bad trade off (remember, the debt comparison sounds large because it is not in inflation adjusted dollars, but there is no inflation adjustment to be made when talking about jobs).

        If Pres. Trump also doubles the debt, without unprecedented job growth, will you concede that he will have been a failure?

      3. Also 6 probably has difficulty remembering that the only times in recent history where there was any question about the US’s ability to avoid defaulting on its loans was when Republicans put a gun to the country’s head.

        But let’s let the Breitbart comments section speak for itself. They’re very serious people! Totally not just a bunch of pimply r@ cist l 0sers flinging p00 at everybody because they can’t get laid.

        1. “Also 6 probably has difficulty remembering that the only times in recent history where there was any question about the US’s ability to avoid defaulting on its loans was when Republicans put a gun to the country’s head.”

          Because declining to continue to give obama a blank check to run the gubmit (complete with 1/3+ of it being welfare of various sorts) is “holding a gun to the gubmit’s head”.

          LOL.

          But, then, I suppose Obama is one of your muh victims, and anything having to do with denying him give aways to give away is “holding a gun to him”. And it’s totally not holding a gun to the taxpayer to do the opposite amirite?

          “Totally not just a bunch of pimply r@ cist l 0sers flinging p00 at everybody because they can’t get laid.”

          MM knows this because his media told him so lolol!

    2. Greg, and even with job growth, the net income is substantially less that ’99. What appears to be happening is a shift from high paying manufacturing jobs to low paying service jobs.

      1. a shift from high paying manufacturing jobs to low paying service jobs

        And what awesome plan did the Republican controlled Congress come up with to create tons of high paying manufacturing jobs?

        Some excellent infrastructure project that would not only keep people working but also benefit everyone, but especially the middle class and the poor?

        Maybe fixing the issues leading to lead contamination in the water somewhere?

        LOL

        Keep the laughs coming, Ned. Tell everyone what you’re going to do with the money from your tax break. Donate it to a homeless shelter, right?

        1. MM, do no mistake me for supporting the failures of prior Republican Congresses or presidents. I think they were wrong and wrongheaded for a lot of reasons.

          For example, I have long wondered why anyone would vote for a Republican business man type who could not articulate why he was running with any memorable clarity. Reagan did want to put an end to the decline of the Ford-Carter years. But what did either Bush, or Dole or McCain or Romney offer? Nothing.

          That left “voting against” as a reason to vote. If one believed the Democrat involved as being a decent sort of person, like Clinton or Obama, then there was no reason to vote Republican at all.

          Trump is entirely new. He is not a traditional Republican by any measure. He is more of a Democrat — in the mold of Roosevelt and/or Kennedy. A man of vision that appears in a moment of crisis and is willing to act.

          1. Trump is entirely new. He is not a traditional Republican by any measure. He is more of a Democrat

            Did I already mention that you’re d umb as a rock? Let me check.

            Yup. I did.

            1. MM, perhaps the source of our likeness to rocks (Trump and I) is that our families came from the same part of Germany at about the same time, and perhaps, for the same reason (the French invasions). Trump’s family came from the Palatinate in the early 1700s. Mine from Pfeddersheim, same region, near Worms, in 1738 to found Hellertown, PA. (One of my ancestors, Jacob Heller, was a Captain in the Revolutionary war (on our side)).

              I suspect, being from Germany and being among the oldest American families qualifies both of us to honored by your derision.

              1. “the Palatinate”

                Someone’s been playing eu4.

                “One of my ancestors, Jacob Heller, was a Captain in the Revolutionary war (on our side)”

                No way, where’d you find that out?

                1. Cousin did family tree analysis. The gravestone of Jacob Heller is registered in the Pennsylvania veterans burial cards index. That index as the following card: DOB: March 6, 1750; DOD: October 8, 1822; Veteran of: Revolutionary War; Dates of Service: 1777-1783; 7th Co., 5th Battalion North, Militia, 1st Lieut.; 3rd Co., 2nd Battalion North, Militia, Capt.

                  The family tree analysis goes always back to 1648 in Germany.

          2. A man of vision that appears in a moment of crisis and is willing to act.

            LOL

            Reminds me of the infamous quote by the long-forgotten “pundit” Jon Hindraker about GWB:

            It must be very strange to be President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can’t get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a reception that, when not bored, is hostile.

            Your Fake President Drumpf has no “vision.” He’s a thin-skinned spoiled s 0 ci0 path pr*ck out to punish people because that’s the only way he knows how to exist.

            1. Well, MM, he does have a tendency to get involved in the most mundane of personal disputes.

              As to Bush, I would agree that whoever said that about either Bush was smoking something. Bush I made a tremendous strategic blunder by getting us directly militarily involved in the ME on a permanent basis. Bush II compound that mistake with the Iraq war.

              Bush II had promise. He was elected in part because he promised to keep us out of wars. My god, did he lose his way.

            2. “Your Fake President Drumpf has no “vision.””

              MAGA MAGA MAGA MAGA MAGA MAGA MAGA down with feelings based nonsense down with feelings based nonsense down with feelings based nonsense.

      2. What do you mean by “net” income? “Net” usually implies “gross minus [something].” What is the something here?

        1. The concept of “net” income does not make sense at a national scale. It makes sense to speak of a business’ “net income” (its gross revenue less its expenses) because business is a self-contained entity.

          When you start talking about national aggregates, however, it becomes impossible (or at least so impractical as to make no difference) to distinguish between income and expense. My income is someone else’s expense, and my expenses are someone else’s income. You cannot “net” these two categories against each other on a national level.

      3. Do you mean median household income? If so, you need to be careful with that number. If a two-earner household with an $80K/year income divorces and splits into two single-earner households, each with a $40K/year income, then median household income goes down, even though nobody’s actual income has declined. You cannot really know what increases or decreases in median household income mean without fairly detailed data about household size and formation over the same period.

  6. The odds of this men t@lly ill path 0 l0gical lying soci 0 path “making america great” or keeping it that way are zero.

    But it’ll be s00per exciting watching President Psy ch0 tic Break “investigate” the millions of “voter fraud” incidents that surely must have occurred … because he says so!

        1. That is what I always wonder when I read talk of impeachment. It seems willfully naive to imagine that a Republican-controlled House of Representatives will vote to impeach a Republican president—no matter how corrupt or incompetent. Meanwhile, it seems insanely optimistic to imagine that control of the House will change hands in 2018.

          I can easily imagine Pres. Trump dying before the end of his term (he is scarcely the picture of health). I can easily see him losing a re-election bid in 2020 (should he live that long). I really cannot, however, see him being impeached.

          1. It seems willfully naive to imagine that a Republican-controlled House of Representatives will vote to impeach a Republican president—no matter how corrupt or incompetent

            Oh, I don’t know about that.

            We’re a week in and this cl 0wn’s credibility is sinking steadily.

            There’s plenty of Republicans out there who’d love to see this ps y ch0 hauled away in chains as long as they can continue to hold onto the power.

            Of course, we’ve still guys like Ned Heller who are just d umber than a bag of rocks and who’d vote for a convicted child r@ per if it had an (R) after his name.

              1. Not sure what you mean by “it’s political situation.”

                Some r@ cist rich a h0les are flushing democracy down the toilet while clinging to power through fraud and gamesmanship, and getting ready to make it impossible to vote them out. That’s a bit bigger than a “Democratic Party” problem.

                But if you’re one of the a h0les who’s shoving cash in his pocket and laughing while poor and brwn people get fckd then who cares? Right? I mean, congrats to you! And yes, Ned, you are one of those a holes. You showed your cards years ago when you spewed some script about “voter fraud.”

                Just remember: it’s all preserved here for everyone to see. And there’s always going to more of us than you.

                [shrugs]

                1. When you speak of fraud and gamesmanship, it is unclear that you are NOT speaking of Hilary and the DNC.

                  You are aware of that, right Malcolm?

                2. and laughing while poor and brwn people get fckd then who cares?

                  Wow are you full of yourself.

                  As if being a successful patent attorney somehow must entail the things that you find so repulsive…

                3. “Some … down”

                  Left ys are losing so “democracy” is being “flush ed”! Whew.

                  It couldn’t be that the dem ocratic republ ic is act ing to prese rve itself in the face of idi ots that want literally to throw it down! It just couldn’t be.

            1. “We’re a week in and this cl 0wn’s credibility is sinking steadily.”

              MM> presuming that Trump’s presidency is somehow conditioned upon him having “credibility” which he literally never had any of to begin with! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

              Come on MM. LOLOLOLOLOL

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