Many persons have been and continue to attempt to obtain a trademark registration for a variety of marks that include the name “Obama”. Examples include OBAMA YOU’RE FIRED, OBAMA GOT OSAMA, NOBAMA, and OBAMANOES. These applications are being rejected by the U.S. Trademark Office for failure to obtain written consent of Barack Obama.
Section 2(c) of the Trademark Action, 15 U.S.C. 1052(c), includes in part that a trademark will be refused registration if it “consists of or comprises a name, portrait, or signature identifying a particular living individual except by his written consent.” The Trademark Office continues to refuse these applications holding that the various marks clearly identify Barack Obama to the relevant public at least because he is President, the subject of frequent media attention, and his name is often in the public view.
Therefore, unless you can obtain the written consent of the President, you may want to skip the attempt to obtain a trademark registration unless, of course, you’re interested in making a non-refundable donation of $325 to the Trademark Office.