The legal team representing the former President and First Lady filed a petition to cancel the trademark of an e-book publishing company based in California, which according to the US Patent and Trademark Office has been doing business since 2017 under their trademark name “Higher Ground Enterprises.”
This was a year before the Obama’s announced in May of 2018 their own company with the same name – after signing a multimillion-dollar deal with Netflix and apparently never checking before-hand if the name had already been trade-marked.
Now, of course, the duo is flexing their powerful celebrity status, hoping to intimidate the small e-book publishing company with a “meritless petition.”
In April of this year, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) once again rejected Obama’s trademark application, citing the earlier trade-mark by the e-book publisher.
Reminding the former President that the trade-mark is duly owned by the California-based publishing company, which records show was registered in 2017.
Nevertheless, the Obama’s are pressing on, using whatever devious means necessary to steal away the trade-mark of the small publishing company.
Moreover, rather than accept the decision of the US Patent and Trademark Office; the high-powered attorneys representing the Obama’s have filed a petition to cancel the trade-mark of the e-book publisher, citing a lack of use.
However, anyone who simply Goggles the company’s website (I did), will find the publishing company doing an active business.
Attorney Larry Zerner representing the e-book publisher in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter regarding the legal antics of the Obama team, “This is really deplorable behavior. I hope that the Obama’s realize that these actions are not consistent with the values they preach and that they instruct their attorneys to immediately dismiss the petition.”
Adding; “Instead of moving on, the Obama lawyers filed a petition to cancel my client’s trademark based on absolutely no facts.”
Reporter’s Eriq Gardner of the Hollywood Reporter was the first journalist to report the quarrel between the two factions, sarcastically noting that Michelle Obama famously claimed, “When they go low, we go high,” before taking a jab at the former first couple, remarking “Going high evidently includes a trademark fight.”
Perhaps, even more, telling for us lowly mortals is how condescending, arrogant and entitled these two are. In their attempt to wrestle the trade-mark away from the e-publisher the Obama’s argued that their production company wouldn’t be mistaken for an e-book publisher despite the similar name.
“The consumers of ‘media production services’ covered by the application are likely to be highly sophisticated,” the Obamas’ team said in a letter to the Trademark Office, according to THR. “Media production services are generally offered not to individual consumers but to commercial entities and professionals in their field.”
Adding, “Indeed, the Applicant has entered a deal with Netflix in connection with its media production services. Such customers, whether multi-billion-dollar media companies or smaller commercial entities in need of media production services, will exercise the height of care in selecting a media production company and are highly unlikely to be confused by a photographer or e-book publisher, particularly when the other party uses a distinguishable mark.”
However, the U.S. Trademark Office initially rejected Obama’s claim, thus the former President’s legal team has devised another scheme to steal the trade-mark away from the e-publisher.
Stating that e-publisher boss Hanisya Massey doesn’t deserve a trademark because “Higher Ground Enterprises wasn’t actually in use at the time of its 2016 registration. Her trademark is in Class 41, which includes entertainment services.”
However, according to Attorney Larry Zerner, the California company has been using that name for almost 10-years, before registering it in 2017.