Washington Website Sued by Obama Campaign Committee for Trademark Infringement

By Joseph Mandour on June 6, 2012

vote-164x164 Los Angeles – In a lawsuit filed last Friday, the Obama Re-election Campaign Committee is suing website Demstore.com for selling merchandise utilizing its trademarked “O” logos and artwork. An identical lawsuit was filed in Chicago for similar Obama infringement issues in 2011.

The current lawsuit filed in Washington claims that the D.C. website, which primarily sells Obama election merchandise, is illegally selling products with two of its trademarked logos. One logo included in the lawsuit is the 2012 campaign logo utilizing the signature “O”. The other logo in question is what is commonly referred to as the “rising sun” logo, and includes a blue “O”, with red and white stripes at the bottom. The lawsuit against Demstore.com is asking for a court ordered injunction preventing the use of the logos, as well as damages.

In a world of websites that can appear and disappear practically overnight, trademark infringement can become a huge problem. Public figures can be particularly vulnerable since they are often widely recognizable and do not have legal teams in place to handle each and every infringement. In addition, the infringers are often hard to locate and even more difficult to bring into court.

Demstore.com is a democratic website owned by Steve Schwat. Schwat, who also owns Washington Promotions and Printing, registered Demstore.com and its company logo with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 2003 and achieved registration in August 2007. The Maryland based company’s USPTO registration was granted for retail store services, mail order sales, online retail store services, online ordering, and retail store services that feature phone-in or online orders in fields of apparel, books, stickers, buttons, jewelry, magnets, flags, signs, house wares and balloons. The company claims that it has been creating and selling various democratic campaign materials since 1985. While the website is primarily geared toward the re-election of Obama, materials from the 2008 election are also being sold.

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