Trademark Application For Trump’s Truth Social Gets Denied

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Truth Social isn’t going great.

Donald Trump’s alternative social media platform known by that name recently saw a federal application to trademark the identifier — “Truth Social” — denied. Trump’s side can still appeal, and the process could drag out for awhile, but in the meantime, federal authorities denied the trademark application at least in part because other companies’ trademarks use similar phrasing. A key portion of federal law “bars registration of an applied-for mark that is so similar to a registered mark that it is likely consumers would be confused, mistaken, or deceived as to the commercial source of the goods and/or services of the parties,” as an official notice of the denial lays it out. The other firms’ phrasing referenced in the notice includes “The Truth Network” and “Vero – True Social.”

The latter is, in fact, a social networking platform, and the “True Social” portion of the trademark appears to constitute a platform slogan. Vero was formulated as an ad-free social media network, among other claimed perks of the site marketed to users. The trademark for “The Truth Network” is in categories for services including political and financial news websites. “The USPTO must receive applicant’s response to this letter within six months of the issue date below or the application will be abandoned,” the official notice of the initial denial explains. The document is dated August 2. (The USPTO is the United States Patent and Trademark Office.) In filing his response, trademark lawyer Josh Gerben notes Trump will have an opportunity to “argue against the refusal.”

Truth Social is also facing other serious issues. Digital World Acquisition Corp. (DWAC), which is a so-called special purpose acquisition company, recently scheduled a shareholder meeting to consider extending the deadline to complete a merger with the Trump-branded company behind the site by a year. DWAC ominously indicated that federal investigations into its relationship with the Trump company, which is known as the Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), could lead to its dissolution, as could the merger not going through after potentially failing to receive regulatory approval. DWAC and the Trump firm are under investigation amid concerns the companies potentially engaged in illegal negotiations over the planned merger before DWAC went public. DWAC merging with TMTG and taking the company public would let the Trump firm access potentially vast inflows of cash on public markets.

“Our failure to obtain any required regulatory approvals in connection with the Business Combination or to resolve certain ongoing investigations within the requisite time period may require us to liquidate,” DWAC said in a recent filing. In other words, it doesn’t sound as though the firm, led by CEO Patrick Orlando, has a back-up plan. Truth Social was founded after Trump was booted from mainstream social media sites over the Capitol riot. Sounding concerned, DWAC cited polling data in the filing that suggests not many Americans would even try Truth Social, as reported on this site. Among total respondents, just 30 percent evidently indicated they’d use a Trump-associated social media site, according to one survey the company cited. In another poll, only 60 percent of Republicans said they’d use such a platform.