Liberals stand up for “the little guy” and believe in doing the right thing — at least, that’s certainly the image they try so hard to project.
But when you clear away the hyperbole and get down to brass tacks, the left seems all too eager to step on others when it suits them. It’s hard to come to any other conclusion after hearing what Barack and Michelle Obama are now doing to a small business in California.
In a fairly ruthless move, the Obamas are currently trying to force a business to give up its registered trademark with a tactic that has been called “deplorable” by those involved.
The reason? Emperor Obama — sorry, former President Obama has decided that only he has the right to use the trademarked name, even though the entrepreneur registered it years ago.
“On Aug. 20, Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions made a move to save its name,” The Hollywood Reporter said on Tuesday.
“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.’”
The Obamas, you see, have started using the name “Higher Ground Productions” as part of their post-White House plans to create media content, particularly shows for Netflix.
It seems they didn’t bother doing much due diligence, because there’s already a similar trademarked name.
A small business, which helps aspiring authors publish books, has held the trademark to “Higher Ground Enterprises” for several years. When an examiner from the United States Patent and Trademark Office received the Obama application, he correctly noticed that the names were very similar and rejected the ex-president’s application, siding instead with the longer-standing registration.
That’s how the trademark system works. A normal person might simply choose a different name for the company, just like everyone else who runs a business in America. After all, the legal name of their production company is a fairly minor detail, considering the vast name recognition the Obamas already have.
But the former first couple apparently thinks they’re special, and standard rules just don’t apply. They’re now trying to strip the properly-registered trademark from the existing business, in a move that looks very much like bullying.
“The Obamas have known for almost a year that their Higher Ground trademark application was rejected by the USPTO because it infringed my client’s rights,” said Larry Zerner, an attorney who is representing the holder of the existing trademark.
“Instead of simply picking another name, the Obamas’ lawyers have now filed a meritless petition to cancel my client’s trademark so they can take it for themselves. 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,” he added.
That’s really the central point here. “Higher Ground” seems to be a reference to Michelle Obama’s quote, “when they go low, we go high.” That platitude failed to get Hillary Clinton elected, and now in an ironic twist, it’s also failing to inspire the Obamas themselves to take the high road.
Even the somewhat left-leaning Hollywood Reporter couldn’t ignore the double standard here. “Going high evidently includes a trademark fight,” journalist Eriq Gardner noted.
He’s right. This looks like yet another case of the left preaching one thing, yet doing something drastically different themselves. It’s ridiculous, but frustratingly predictable these days.
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