Obamas try to muscle little company into handing over its trademark to them
The Obamas have always been big on Chicago-style political muscle, and even in the post-presidency, Barack and Michelle have not changed a bit.
Get a load of this outrageous bid to force a little company to give up its trademark — to him. According to Fox News:
The legal team representing the Obamas filed a petition to cancel the trademark of an e-book publishing company called Higher Ground Enterprises, much to the chagrin of the publishing company.
"This is really deplorable behavior. I hope that the Obamas realize that these actions are not consistent with the values they preach and that they instruct their attorneys to immediately dismiss the petition," attorney Larry Zerner told Fox News in a statement that was first given to The Hollywood Reporter.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Obama team wanted to name their Netflix propaganda venture 'Higher Ground Productions' which is kind of a stupid, banal name, but whatevs. The U.S. trademark office told them "no" because another company, Higher Ground Enterprises, already had the name, and the names were too similar.
But nobody tells the Obamas "no," so:
On Aug. 20, Barack and Michelle Obama's Higher Ground Productions made a move to save its name. That day, the company went to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and demanded cancellation of someone else's earlier trademark registration for "Higher Ground Enterprises."
Higher Ground Enterprises is run by Hanisya Massey, who, according to her attorney Larry Zerner, is in the business of helping authors publish e-books. Her trademark is in Class 41, which includes entertainment services. Zerner says Massey has been using "Higher Ground" since 2008.
Naturally, as the Obamas came to a lucrative agreement with Netflix for films and television series, Higher Ground Productions came into conflict with Higher Ground Enterprises.
On April 10, a Trademark Examiner refused to register the Obamas' claimed mark with a nod to the one held by Massey.
So instead of respecting the other company's right to exist and coming up with a slightly different name, such as Higher Grounds Productions, or else concentrating their resources on appealing again to the trademark office that the names really are different (they got turned down once on appeal), they're now going for the jugular, seeking to expropriate the little company's name for themselves in court because they are so much more important.
What would their rationale be? They claim that the trademark was not used at the time of its granting, but that probably was a function of the Obama economy, when little startups couldn't get the capital they needed. What an irony if true.
The only other thing they can tell the judge is that they're the Obamas, and little people just need to get of the way.
It's not just outrageous in itself; it raises questions about just what the Obamas will do if they get laughed out of court. Might the Obamas suddenly call up their political muscle in whatever city the little e-book publisher or its operations are located in? A big fine from some allied bureaucrats would put that company out of its misery pronto, freeing up the name.
The possibilities are endless. And the horribleness of this muscle act against the little guys, over something they didn't do wrong, is really disgusting. Shouldn't this be getting more attention? Socialists, by hook or crook, and even if they no longer have their hands on the levers of power, will stop and nothing to steal every last thing a little guy has got.