U.S. Supreme Court rejects ‘Trump Too Small’ trademark

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday nixed a California man’s bid to trademark the slogan “Trump Too Small.”

Attorney and activist Steve Elster had sought sole domain over the phrase for use on T-shirts and other merchandise, an allusion to former president Donald Trump.

While shirts emblazoned with those words are already available online, the court said Elster could not be the exclusive owner of that phrase.

The website trumptoosmall.com shows the phrase “Trump too small” as a slogan for T-shirts.

Elster had argued that standing in the way of the trademark violated his First Amendment right to free speech, and said the term served as a double entendre for Trump’s “diminutive” policies. (The back of the shirt reads, “TRUMP’S PACKAGE IS TOO SMALL: Small on the Constitution, small on democracy.”)

U.S. Department of Justice officials said the phrase could still be used without a trademark but contended that it was not trademark-able because Trump had not consented. Federal law stipulates that a trademark request can be refused if it identifies “a particular living individual” without the “written consent” of the person in question.

The justices also said that since Elster was still free to use the phrase, his free speech rights were not impinged upon.

The phrase stems from a 2016 campaign exchange between Trump and then-rival Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Rubio made fun of Trump’s “small hands,” saying “you can’t trust” people who had them and implying they were a sign that other body parts could also be small.

Trump rebutted during a subsequent debate, saying, “I guarantee you there’s no problem. I guarantee you.” Rubio eventually apologized for the low blow.

With News Wire Services

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