Another trademark claim asserted for political purposes

Paul Alan Levy responds
to a C&D against a candidate for local government who is being threatened
with claims of trademark infringement for using the city’s logo on his campaign
materials.  As always, it’s a
refreshing read
. Of particular note, Levy points out that §2(b) bars
registering the insignia of any state or municipality; the claimant’s
registration is in the name of “City of Mesa Municipal Development
Corporation,” for specialized services such as construction planning.  The registration did not claim that it was
for a  city logo, and yet the C&D
letter asserts that it is.  The PTO has
apparently been construing §2(b) narrowly to allow some government agencies to
register logos for narrow purposes, and Public Citizen questions whether this
is a permissible interpretation of the statute. 
To the extent that the registrant represents that the mark is in fact the city’s logo, Levy notes that
§2(b) invalidates any registration, whether the registrant is the city or some
other entity.  Given the claims made to
the candidate, he contends, the claimant will be estopped from arguing that it
isn’t the city’s logo.

from Blogger

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