San Diego – While many presidential candidates (most notably Donald Trump) fight battles to maintain and protect trademarked slogans, Jeb Bush took a different approach. He recently abandoned the Jeb! trademark he has used thus far during his campaign.
Bush first began using the “Jeb!” logo in his 1994 campaign for governor. Jeb stands for John Ellis Bush which is Jeb’s real name. Most people criticized the logo for its lack of originality and mediocre graphic design, but Bush stuck with the logo. Throughout his political career, Bush used his enthusiastic “Jeb!” logo, and eventually applied for trademark rights in 2002.
Although criticized for his decision, Bush not only continually used his logo throughout this career, but actively worked to protect it. In 2010, his trademark lawyer accused Democratic State Senate candidate Deborah Gianoulis of trademark infringement by campaigning with a “Deb!” logo.
This year, when the trademark lapsed, Bush reapplied for trademark rights. Some believe now more than ever the logo is important to Bush’s campaign given his efforts to distance himself from the Bush political dynasty.
The trademark application was for exclusive use of the logo on a variety of products the Bush campaign thought their supporters would want to buy, such as money clips and golf towels. A corporation titled BHAG LLC (standing for “Big Hairy Audacious Goal,” a phrase from one of Bush’s beloved business books) filed the trademark. While BHAG LLC, is owned by Bush, the United States Patent and Trademark Office requested written consent from Bush to use his name. The request, made in April, set a deadline of six months.
Bush never replied, letting the “Jeb!” logo trademark application go abandoned. Technically, Bush can restart the application process any time.
Given the steady decline in Bush’s polling average, there’s likely not much money to be made selling his merchandise which could be the reason for letting the trademark abandon. Late last year Bush reduced his staff and otherwise cut campaign spending. It is also possible that Bush decided to move away from the Jeb! moniker which some thought was silly in the first place.