The American presidential race has always been interesting, and the present one is no exception. Undoubtedly the most interesting candidate of all is Donald Trump. The highly opinionated, often loud-mouthed star of The Apprentice, who finds it hard to stay away from the spotlight is in the news again. This time Donald Trump is ‘firing’ a politically oriented clothing website which has been using Trump’s trademarked name in its domain name.
The domain name in question, Stoptrump.us, sells t-shirts and other merchandise with slogans like “Donald Is Dumb,” “Stop Trump” and “America Is Already Great”(Trumps campaign slogan is ‘Let’s make America great again’). The reason Donald Trump was subjected to the wrath of this self-proclaimed ‘social enterprise’ is because of his stand on immigrants from Mexico and Latin America. We have heard Trump say some of the most outrageous things through the years, but his anti-Hispanic stand has been the subject of much controversy.
Owing to the above, the Donald Trump Organization sent the website a cease and desist notice, accusing the website for cyber-piracy under the US Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. According to the notice the usage of Trump’s name in the domain is a “blatant and unauthorized use of his trademark”. The cease and desist notice further states that the Boston-based website should stop using the domain name immediately, and transfer the same to the client (Donald Trump).
Donald Trump’s legal team has always pursued such domain name issues aggressively. Every year the organization acquires thousands of domain names which have different combinations of the presidential candidate’s trademarks. That is not all; they have also registered websites with the names of his children and grandchildren. Eric Trump, Donald Trump’s son, states that this seemingly indiscriminate acquisition of domain names is a smart business strategy to protect their IP from squatters. This overbearing business strategy according to him is a better way to deal with cybersquatting issues than UDRP process set up by ICANN. UDRP, he says, is a waste of time and the answer to the problem is a preemptive acquisition strategy.
Well we can’t predict how the presidential race will pan out. But one thing we can predict is that Donald Trump’s legal and business strategy will only get more aggressive. Donald Trump’s lawyers recently threatened a conservative Club for Growth with a lawsuit, for advertisements criticizing the candidate.