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Supreme Court to hear ‘Trump too small’ trademark case – NBC Bay Area

Supreme Court to hear ‘Trump too small’ trademark case – NBC Bay Area


The Supreme Court said on Monday it would hear a case in which a man tried to mark a sentence mocking former President Donald Trump as too small.

The Justice Department is backing one-time President Joe Bidens and possibly his future rival by urging the court to deny a trademark for the undersized Trump suggestive phrase a California man wants to put on T-shirts.

The case will be argued in the fall, one of two disputes on the court’s agenda that involve Trump or one of his companies. Government officials said the phrase Trump too small could still be used, but not as a trademark because Trump had not consented to its use. But a federal appeals court said denying trademark registration violates free speech rights.

The High Court has considered a series of Trump-related cases in recent years. The judges handled cases involving Trump’s allegations of fraud in the 2000 election and his efforts to protect his tax records from Congress and to keep other tax records from New York prosecutors, among others.

If the judges are tired of Trump-related cases, however, they don’t say so. Just last month, the High Court agreed to hear another Trump-related lawsuit stemming from disputes over what was the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Democratic members of the House Oversight Committee have sued the Trump administration’s refusal to release information about the Trump Organizations’ lease of the hotel.

The latest case is unusual in that it has the Biden administration on Trump’s side. The administration is defending government officials’ decision to deny the trademark application of Steve Elster, who tried to register Trump’s understated phrase.

The phrase references a memorable exchange Trump had during the 2016 presidential campaign with Florida Senator and GOP presidential rival Marco Rubio.

Rubio started the verbal spar when he told his supporters at a rally that Trump still calls him little Marco, “but that Trump who says he’s 6-foot-3 has disproportionate hands. you seen his hands?… And you know what they say about men with small hands, said Rubio, they can’t be trusted.

Trump then addressed the comment during a televised debate on March 3, 2016.

Look at those hands. Are they small hands? And he referred to my hands if they are small, something else must be small. I guarantee you there is no problem. I guarantee you,” he said.

Federal law states that a trademark application must be refused if it involves a name, likeness, or signature identifying a particular living person, unless the person has provided written consent. But Elster says refusing to register a political slogan critical of Trump without Trump’s consent violates the First Amendment’s free speech clause. According to Elster’s attorneys, federal law makes it virtually impossible to register a mark that expresses an opinion about a public figure.

We look forward to defending the right to convey fundamental political messages about brands,” Elster attorney Jon Taylor wrote in an email. the monopoly of speech about them on the market is indefensible.




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