Mr Scharfeld, a musician turned software developer, created a new musical app, which he named iTrump.
Mr Trump’s lawyers wrote to Mr Scharfeld about his use of the word ‘Trump’ in his app. They claimed it’d cause confusion among consumers, who might think it was affiliated with Donald Trump. They also stated that the use of the term would tarnish the goodwill and reputation that the Trump mark had built over many years.
Mr Scharfeld opposed these allegations, and won. What makes this an even greater achievement is that he managed to do this by representing himself – without the assistance of a lawyer.
Following this initial success, Mr Scharfeld continued to fight against numerous other registered TRUMP trade marks. He successfully cancelled three of Donald Trump’s already registered trade marks, and managed to stop him from registering a fourth.
Mr Scharfeld found that many of Trump’s trademarks were approved based on questionable research, and others were maintained without the proper documentation.
Mr Trump no longer instructs the lawyers (Weinbergers) that originally handled his trade mark collection.
Mr Scharfeld’s success emphasises the fact that paperwork must be maintained and kept up to date, otherwise there is a risk of the trade mark being lost. If you wish to rely on research to register a trade mark, it must be of a sufficient, qualitative standard, to avoid others questioning its accuracy and authenticity.
It’s important for trade marks to be policed once registered, even if not in use. They can be challenged if they’re not used for a period of 5 years – unless you have good reasons for not using it.
For more information, please contact Nick de Figueiredo.
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