The Republican National Committee has threatened to take Democratic nominee Roy Barnes to court over the use of its elephant logo on his “Republicans for Roy” web site, as well as the letters G-O-P.
Who knew GOP was a registered trademark? Sounds like the legalese you hear before baseball games: “No accounts” of the game allowed without permission. Which, if strictly enforced, would really hamper water-cooler talk.
Read the Sept. 30 letter here. In part:
Mr. Barnes clearly lacks a belief in private property rights, as his unauthorized use of the RNC’s intellectual property demonstrates. The Barnes campaign’s use of the RNC’s Official Elephant Logo and “GOP” trademark thus appear to be clearly designed to mislead the public into thinking that Mr. Barnes is someone he is not and that he has the support of the Republican Party, which he assuredly does not have…
The RNC hereby demands that the Roy Barnes campaign immediately cease and desist from utilizing “GOP” and the Official Elephant Logo or we will be forced to pursue the matter in a court of law….
The letter is signed John R. Phillippe Jr., chief counsel for the RNC.
But no doubt the RNC will need local counsel as well. We have in mind a certain Marietta law firm with a GOP-documented reputation for suing the heck out of rich businesses — and winning.
Update at 3:15 p.m.: Both sides are looking to stoke this issue. Said Rachel Bauer Taylor, spokeswoman for the RNC:
“Roy Barnes is no Republican. In fact, he’s running as a Democrat against the bona fide Republican, Nathan Deal. During his former reign as a liberal Governor of Georgia, he left Georgia with a $640 Million shortfall at the time he was fired and also the largest overall job loss in the state for that period since the Bureau of Labor and Statistics first started tracking back in 1939. Roy Barnes was wrong for Georgia back then and he’s certainly wrong for Georgia now – no matter how hard he tries to cloak himself in our logo.”
And the retort from Emil Runge of the Barnes campaign:
“Congressman Deal asked his Washington friends to protect him after he saw how many Republicans were flocking to Roy Barnes. Georgia’s Republicans know that unlike Congressman Deal – who voted for the largest tax increase in state history – Roy is the true fiscal conservative in the race for governor.”