President Barack Obama's campaign has sued a Washington-area printing company, alleging trademark infringement. The Associated Press reports a lawsuit was filed Friday in federal court claiming Demstore.com is illegally selling products with two logos on them. This is the second time the company has been sued by the campaign.
* The logos are "rising sun," which is a blue "O" with red and white stripes on the bottom. The second is a 2012 trademark with the "O" inside it.
* Demstore.com sells white T-shirts with the Obama logo on it for $5.49 each for an order of 500. Similar products on the official campaign website are $30 per shirt. The extra money goes to the Obama campaign. Profits sold on other websites go to the companies selling the merchandise.
* The Obama campaign alleges the "rising sun" logo was trademarked ahead of the president's 2008 campaign. The "2012" logo had a trademark filed in April 2011, according to the Legal Times.
* Steve Schwat, CEO of Demstore.com, told the Legal Times the campaign was using his company as an example of "selective enforcement." Schwat claims there are numerous companies that use the same logo to turn a profit.
* Reuters reports the president's campaign alleges the supposedly illegal sales will "damage Obama for America's ability to gain revenue through the sale of merchandise bearing the rising sun trademarks."
* The 15-page complaint wants a temporary and permanent injunction on the website. Obama for America also wants the defendant's profits.
* The Obama campaign said the merchandise is "crucial to OFA's efforts to interact with voters" because the person's contact information is included with the order. The campaign also ascertains funding limits are a reason for the lawsuit.
* The complaint also says the campaign sent cease and desist letters in April 2011 and in late July. The defendants did not comply.
* The lawsuit is similar to one filed in Chicago in late October. Law360.com says Demstore.com was trying to "trade on the enormous popularity of the rising sun logos and trademarks." That lawsuit was dropped because the business is not located in Illinois.
William Browning is a research librarian specializing in U.S. politics. Born in St. Louis, Browning is active in local politics and served as a campaign volunteer for President Barack Obama and Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill.
- Politics & Government
- President Barack Obama