Jeb Bush & his trademark woes!

presidential-election-1309647John Ellis ‘Jeb’ Bush, better known as the brother of George W. Bush, than as the presidential hopeful for the US election 2016,has been going through a rough time. With his chances to be the next President of the United States taking a dive, so are his aspirations to trademark ‘Jeb!’.

A Trademark is a mark which is capable of distinguishing the goods and services of one person from those of others. They indicate the source of goods and services, and thereby protect the customers from being deceived.

A quick search on the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website will show that the application was filed by BHAG LLC, which is allegedly owned by Jeb Bush. The application was filed on January 16, 2015, months before he announced his presidential bid. The registration of the mark was sought for goods such as bottles, bottle openers, aprons, belts, shoes, golf shirts, jackets as well as for services pertaining to education, political fundraising, etc.

On April 13, 2015, an office action letter was sent to the Applicant, which required a written consent from Jeb Bush. In order to register a mark that contains the name of a particular living individual, the applicant is supposed to provide a written consent signed by the said individual. According to this letter, the Applicant did not state whether the name ‘JEB’ in the mark pertained to a particular living individual; also the application did not include the said written consent. The response to this office action letter should have been given within 6 months of the mailing date of the letter, which in this case was not. As a result the application was declared abandoned.

However, this is not the end for ‘Jeb!’; in case an application is declared abandoned due to failure of submission of response to the office action letter, a petition to revive can be filed within 2 months from the mailing date of the Notice of Abandonment, which in this case is November 9, 2015; therefore if the Applicant files the petition by January 9, 2016, the application will be revived. The petition must include a statement that the delay was not intentional, a response to the office action letter, as well as a $100 fee. From the above, it is evident that Jeb Bush still has time to file a revival petition, and only time will tell if he will make use of this chance.

Over the past few decades, the importance of intellectual property (IP) has hit the roof. People have become more aware of their IP rights and as a result have begun taking measures to protect the same. In fact, Jeb Bush is not the only presidential hopeful who has sought to trademark his name; his competitor, Donald Trump, has several trademarks for his own name.