Launching a trademark on Sunday night and having it featured in a New Yorker cartoon the next day may be a trademark dream come true. It’s Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign logo (featuring an H and a right arrow) that has created the buzz of attention.
The Washington Post ran an article on Monday that compiled public comments, reactions and look-a-likes to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign logo. An interesting look-a-like logo mentioned in the article caught my attention: a logo for a defunct English supermarket chain called “Hillards” that had a similar H-arrow logo. (Pictured in the bottom right corner of the Hillards advertisement.) The good news for Hillary’s campaign is that this look-a-like should not block nor create any issue with her new campaign logo. This is because:
- The supermarket trademark was not used in the United States. (Trademark rights are acquired by use of the trademark in a particular geographic region and can be registered in a specific country or countries. Once registered, continued use of the trademark is required to maintain the registration); and
- The trademark does not appear to be “in use” any longer in any country due to a reportedly hostile takeover. (Trademark rights are sustained by actual use of the trademark to sell particular goods and/or services. Failure to continuing using a trademark in commerce to sell particular goods and/or services “kills” a trademark).
Personally, I like Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign logo.
BY: Vanessa Kaster, Esq., LL.M.
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See also: Basic facts about trademarks issued by the USPTO at http://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/trademarks/basics/BasicFacts.pdf; more posts on trademarks at https://iplegalfreebies.wordpress.com/category/t-r-a-d-e-m-a-r-k/; The UK Intellectual Property Office with trademark search options at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/intellectual-property-office; @iplegalfreebies and www.kasterlegal.com.