Republicans Targeting Logo Abusers

So you're thinking you might want to cash in on the Republican National Convention? Maybe cook up a few T-shirts and trinkets to sell to the thousands of visitors, using that odd little elephant/fire hydrant logo?

Official Elephant Logo (For journalistic purposes only. Please don't sue.)

Better think again. Politico reports that lawyers for the Republican National Committee have sent ominous letters to a California company, demanding that it stop selling T-shirts online that feature the official elephant logo. The RNC's "cease and desist" actions have raised interesting legal questions about free speech versus trademark laws, Politico reports.

Entrepreneurs apparently can get around the trademark troubles by designing a modified logo. "If you want to say 'GOP' and design an elephant that's ... not precisely the same as ours, that's fine," RNC chief counsel Sean Cairncross told Politico.

Ironically, legal experts say the RNC may have a much harder time stopping the sale of T-shirts criticizing Republicans than T-shirts that are favorable. Anti-Republican merchandise could be considered parody, which is specifically exempt from trademark rules.

But then, who in Minnesota would want to criticize Republicans during their convention? That would be rude.

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