A U.S. Patent and Trademark Office may embolden Donald Trump opponents to hijack his social media platform, Truth Social.
The federal agency denied the former president’s request to grant a trademark for Truth Social, claiming it could cause confusion.
The Western Journal further reported:
The news of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s refusal was discovered when Josh Gerben, a trademark lawyer, tweeted a screenshot of the filing.
“The USPTO has refused Donald Trump’s trademark application for “TRUTH SOCIAL.” The basis of the refusal is the existence of multiple pre-existing “TRUTH” trademarks. Trump will have 6 months to file a response and argue against the refusal,” Gerben tweeted on Thursday.
According to the filing, the patent office claimed that the name of Trump’s social media network was “confusingly similar” to other registered trademarks “Vero-True Social,” which is another social media platform, and “The Truth Network,” which is a Christian radio network, Insider reported.
“In the present case, applicant’s mark, TRUTHSOCIAL, begins with the same dominant feature, TRUTH, as registrant’s mark, THE TRUTH NETWORK,” the filing read.
“Moreover, both marks also contain the wording SOCIAL meaning they look and sound similar generally outside of a small variation of TRUTH,” it added.
In conclusion, the USPTO stated that “Because the marks are similar and the goods and services are related, there is a likelihood of confusion as to the source of applicant’s goods and services, and registration is refused pursuant to Section 2(d) of the Trademark Act.”
Gerben commented that these complications that led to the rejection are typically why a very specific and distinct name needs to be chosen for a company like this.
“Ideally, you would pick a name where this wasn’t going to happen,” Gerben said, Axios reported.
But Trump does have until February of 2023 to respond to this rejection. Although this is a significant snag for the social media company, it is not necessarily the end of the road, according to Axios.
“This doesn’t spell the end for the trademark. Trump can appeal, which trademark lawyers believe is likely. Initial refusals aren’t uncommon and there are a couple moves the company can make to clear this hurdle,” Axios reported.
Without trademark protection, it would be hard for Trump to prosecute people who used the name “Truth Social” for their business, including a competing social media platform.
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