Donald Trump, the famous businessman and the Presidential hopeful for US election 2016, has been in hot waters on more than one occasion in the recent past. A new feather added to his controversial cap includes the cease and desist letter sent by the General Counsel of The Trump Organization and Donald J. Trump, to Stoptrump.us (now www.americaalreadygreat.com), a website which was selling t-shirts featuring Donald Trump’s photo along with slogans like ‘Donald is Dumb’, ‘Stop Trump’ and ‘America Is Already Great’ (a sarcastic take on Trump’s presidential slogan ‘Make America great again’)
Stoptrump.us was created to ingeniously respond to the attacks from Donald Trump against Mexican and Latin American immigrants. This enterprise, gives a portion of its earnings to organizations that support Latino education, immigrant rights and democracy.[i] Its main aim is to neutralize the conflict-ridden statements of Donald Trump, his campaign only bringing about divisiveness, ignorance and xenophobia against immigrants nationwide. [ii]
‘Trump’ has been registered as a trademark in US. In the letter, the general counsel of the presidential candidate states that the use of the domain name ‘stoptrump.us’ infringes upon Donald Trump’s trademark rights. Furthermore, it has also been stated that the registration and use of the said domain name, amounted to cyber piracy under Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act “as any person who, in bad faith, registers a domain name that is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark of another person can be liable for damages.”[iii] The letter also stated that in the absence of compliance with the below mentioned demands, domain owners would be facing litigation in future. The demands entailed in the letter are as follows:
- Cease the use of Donald Trump’s name and the Trump® trademark;
- Not to associate Donald Trump’s name or Trump® trademark with commercial activities; and
- To transfer the infringing domain name to Donald Trump.
As is often the case, this cease and desist letter ended up frightening the recipient, who has yielded to the aforementioned demands. Now, if someone visits www.stoptrump.us they get redirected to http://www.americaalreadygreat.com/. Even the t-shirts, which earlier contained Donald Trump’s picture along with the offending slogans, now only feature the slogan ‘America is Already Great’. Thus, Stoptrump.us too has succumbed to the pressure tactics employed by Trump’s lawyers.
[i] Available at: http://www.americaalreadygreat.com/
[ii] Available at: http://www.americaalreadygreat.com/
[iii] Available at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/282503308/Stoptrumpus-Cease-Desist9-22-15