Trump’s Campaign Slogan Keep America Great in The Purge Horror Movie

President Trump’s 2020 campaign slogan “Keep America Great” was used as a tagline in the horror movie The Purge:  Election Year in 2016. The film’s producers chose the “Keep America Great” tagline as a play off of President Trump’s well-known 2016 slogan “Make America Great Again.” The producers of the The Purge film used the tagline on promotion material.

Depending on the promotional material offered, the producers of the The Purge film may have created common law trademark rights in the slogan. However, if the slogan only appeared on posters and other marketing collateral, then they probably did not create trademark rights because the marks was never affixed to physical good or used to promote a service for others. The producers appear to have not thought of the slogan as a trademark because they did not attempt to federally protect the slogan as their trademark. But that has not stopped others from trying to lock up the “Keep America Great” slogan as their trademark.

There are 12 pending trademark applications for the slogan KEEP AMERICA GREAT for a variety of goods and services ranging from baseball caps to bobble heads. Only one of these applications is owned by Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. None of the 11 other trademark applicants filed their applications before President Trump. Because they did not file their trademark applications first, none of the prior trademark applicants have priority to prevent the registration of President Trump’s applications.

Nevertheless, their trademark applications demonstrate the importance of filing your trademark applications early using the intent-to-use filing basis. Let’s assume President Trump did not file his trademark applications first, the other trademark applicants could have created a few roadblocks to his marketing plans. For example, maybe the President could not handout baseball caps with KEEP AMERICA GREAT, or engage in some other form of marketing.

Naming and securing trademark protection should be one of the first tasks to tackle when a new business is started or a new product is launched.

4 Replies to “Trump’s Campaign Slogan Keep America Great in The Purge Horror Movie”

  1. You need to look at Applications #87976064 child of Keep America Great ! and #87315890 application date 1/27/18 and #87841597 KAG ! The child application is pending my response. But it has been issued an NOA for AAU .
    These are the applications that will register. Both are DBA’s and represent an indicator of Source. Trump was suspended and mine have been in progress for a year and a half. All other Applications will receive “failure to function” refuasal

    1. Thanks for your comment. President Trump’s pending application was cited by the Examining Attorney as a mark that will be cited against the registration of Application Serial Number 87976064 when his application matures into a registration. His application was filed 9 days before Application Serial Number 87976064. You are right that his application is suspended. And if his application does not mature into a registration, then it will not be cited against Application Serial Number 87976064. One of the applications that was holding up his application has been abandoned, and the other has an office action response due in November. If no response is filed, then this final application will be abandoned as well. The office action response due in November is a response to failure to function as a trademark. None of the Applications cited in your comment were refused based on their failure to function as a trademark though. Application Serial Number 87841597 has the same hurdle as Application Serial Number 87976064.

  2. Thank you, for your comments. It is correct that Trumps announcement has created an obstacle to all other applications, but this is related to common phrases used in the public domain. The fact that Keep America Great ! #87315890 and #87976064 are in fact Registered business entities, thus creating an indicator of source. No other applications have this advantage. All others that have advanced have been given failure to function refusals or other refusal which can not be overcome. Donald J Trump for President, Inc. If advanced to examination this application will receive a political slogan and failure to function refusal. The USPTO’s use of his announcement has nothing to do with his likelihood of registration. If you can site a case where an application was taken in to examination, out of filing sequence, please let me know. And since my applications have not received failure to function refusals, why would this be the case? The USPTO would not issue an NOA for AAU if they could issue a failure to function refusal. Given prior pending, issues and the time lines associated with these remaining applications, it is likely that the Trump campaign’s application will not reach examination before the 2020 election cycle. As the Trademark court has stated ” The Trademark Act is not an act to register mere words, but rather to register Trademarks. there must be a trademark, and unless have been so used they can not qualify. This is why Trumps and all others, but mine, will fail to register. The indicator of source is the key to a successful registration. Thats my reading of the law. Only time will tell.

    1. Trade names and trademarks are different. A company name does not automatically function as a trademark upon incorporation, and many companies have trademarks that differ from their company name. And a trademark application that is filed before another person’s application will often be cited as a potential bar to the registration of the subsequent filed application as in the case of the Applications you cite in your comment. If the prior filed applications never mature into registrations, then they cannot prevent the registration of the subsequently filed application. But registration is not a requirement in the U.S. to acquiring trademark rights. A person or entity that uses a mark first in commerce is all that is required. And whether KEEP AMERICA GREAT functions as a trademark for “label pins,” for example, depends on whether consumers perceive the phrase as an indicator of source or just common phrase.

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