GOP sues over Schneider’s use of its ‘Official Elephant Logo’Posted on November 01, 2012
In a sign that Election Day can’t come too soon now, the Republican National Committee has demanded that a local Democratic candidate for Congress stop breaking the law — by running a picture of its elephant logo.
Yes, folks, in a Beltway-made tempest in a teapot, the RNC wrote to Democrat Brad Schneider’s campaign and told him to “cease and desist” picturing the logo next to a shot of Robert Dold, Mr. Schneider’s opponent, in a new TV ad. Mr. Dold is, um, a Republican.
The latter, from RNC Associate Counsel Jon Waclawski, says it has come to his attention that the ad “displays (RNC’s) Official Elephant Logo without RNC permission.”
Continues the sternly worded note, “The RNC owns a trademark in the Official Elephant Logo (Federal Trademark Registration Number 1908397) and takes infringements upon its trademarks seriously. Please cease and desist from using the Official Elephant Logo or we will be forced to consider a legal remedy.”
In a note back last week — via snail mail, incidentally — Schneider campaign attorney James Lamb more or less told the RNC where it can put its Official Elephant Logo.
The use of the logo, if it indeed is the Official Elephant Logo, “does not constitute an infringement of the RNC’s trademark,” Mr. Lam wrote. Why not? Because the use “is not ‘likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake or to deceive” since Mr. Dold “is, in fact, a Republican and the picture of an elephant only reinforces that fact.”
Concludes Mr. Lamb in equally stern language: “Bob Dold is a republican. And we are going to continue letting the voters know that fact.”
For whatever it’s worth, Team Dold is denying any advance knowledge of the letter and pretty much hoping the whole thing will go away.
Maybe Mr. Schneider will start walking around offering voters peanuts as a peace gesture.