This is an open letter to anyone who knows more about the legalities of trademarks than I do.
Here’s the situation: Donald Trump wants to trademark “Keep America Great!” and “Keep America Great” as the theme for his 2020 re-election campaign. My company, Castalia Communications, has been using Keep America Great on a bumpersticker design since May, 2016. We haven’t sold many, but we’ve been trying and have sent out or given away dozens of flyers offering bumperstickers with the phrase “Keep America Great, Don’t Be a TRUMPiE! on it at conferences and workshops and posted on bulletin boards, email blasts and the like. I’ve also sent out many tweets with the image to every news org. and political hashtag I could think of with links back to my website and to the store site where products are available for sale (mostly on Zazzle.com/notumpzone).
I was hoping to influence the election, but that obviously didn’t work. I never expected to be still selling NoTrumpZone stuff, but here we are. I’m gearing up for 2020, and I’ve come up with several new designs using Keep America Great and I refuse to let Trump claim the exclusive right to use Keep America Great without a fight.
The big question is: do I have a case? I’ve been using Keep America Great for many months, but I did not apply for a trademark. I’ve read that opposing the application for a trademark is possible. If I have a case, I’d like to pursue it.
Please review the graphics and get back to me ASAP as the clock is ticking.
Here is the screen shot of when the bumpersticker made its appearance for sale at Zazzle.com/notrumpzone
I was learning social media last year and discovering Twitter. Here is the first tweet with the bumpersticker as the eye-catching graphic with links back to where it can be bought:
Here are several tweets I sent the same day a couple months later in response to something in the news:
It’s now September, and it is getting closer to the election and I’m still trying to get the word out. Please note that the URL in these tweets leads to my blog which leads to the YouTube page where I have posted a parody to the Civil War tune “When Johnnie Comes Marching Home” called “When Donnie Goes Trumping Home.” http://tinyurl.com/zghmg8z
I don’t have any idea whether a song lyric might help a trademark case, but in the video I sing and the scrolling lyrics read:
The U-S-A is truly great
We won’t abide his fear and hate
The men will jeer and the kids will shout
The ladies will yell get lost you lout
Keep America great
Send Donnie trumping home
Okay, the election is over, but the fight is just beginning. This is from just before Christmas:
The situation has grown more dire since the election, and I’ve been updating all the graphics for bumperstickers, buttons, banners, yard signs and so forth it in preparation for the battles ahead. Here are two:
As I hope you can see I don’t want to let Trump claim Keep America Great as his own. Please let me know if I have a case so I can begin raising $$$ to keep him from owning the slogan.