“Make America Great Again” is no longer only a political issue but also a trademark dispute

March 21, 2017

Trump’s well-known slogan “Make America Great Again" was not created by him. This slogan was firstly used in the Ronald Reagan presidential campaign, in 1980.

In the end of December 2012, this slogan came up again in a statement made by Donald Trump, when he was explaining his decision to continue the presidential campaign.

However, the first time Donald Trump used this expression as slogan was on November 7, 2012. Mitt Romney had lost his running against Barack Obama, and Trump felt his moment had come.

To ensure his exclusive rights on this slogan, Donal Trump has filed “Make America Great Again” as trademark before the USPTO. He filed the trademark for the classes 35 and 36, in which was included “political action committee services”. The trademark was finally registered on July 14, 2015.

During the presidential campaign, Trump had made clear that his trademark’s rights were not only for the sake of appearances. After seeing the use of the slogan by his Republican opponents Ted Cruz and Scott Walker, Tump sent them cease and desist letters, claiming his rights and threatening a civil and criminal action to solve the question.

In the early of 2017, Trump was facing problems with his slogan once again. Despite his various trademarks and the widespread use in his communication, some entities are still trying to register this slogan as a trademark. Now it is a textile manufacturer that is applying “Make America Great Again”, for the class 24.  Donald Trump has already instructed his lawyers to oppose against that trademark and, despite not having any trademark in class 24, Trump has filed in 2015 new “Make America Great Again” trademarks, including some similar expressions as “Keep America Great!”, in several classes, which might become  this question much more easy to solver in favour of Trump.

On the other hand, it will be interesting to see which analysis the USPTO will undertake to the trademark “Make America Great Again”, since it was not a slogan created by Trump and has been used before Trump trademarked it.


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