American elections lay the ground for trademark battle

The US Presidential elections have dominated headlines for the past week, but the race to the White House has also triggered an intriguing trademark dispute.

Los Angeles entrepreneur Mike Lin had picked up on a line used in one of the debates, in which Republican Donald Trump described Hillary Clinton as “a nasty woman.”

Quick-thinking Mr Lin had filed an application for the “Nasty Woman” trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office the day after the exchange and began to sell t-shirts emblazoned with the slogan.

Unfortunately for him, he wasn’t the only person to pick up on the potential of the phrase and a number of other vendors were soon selling their own products carrying the same words.

Mr Lin has argued that these businesses are using his trademark without authorisation and has indicated he will be prepared to take action against infringement.

Some intellectual property experts have pointed out however, that while the entrepreneur, who runs the business 47 / 72 Inc, had filed a trademark application with the Patent Office it does not automatically follow that he will receive a federal registration.

Joanne Gregory

Joanne Gregory

Partner – Litigation & Dispute Resolution

+44 (0) 20 7580 5721

This article is for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking or deciding not to take any action.