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Journalist Group Files Trademark for "Fake News" so that Trump Can’t Use it

Updated: Dec 10, 2019

A Florida-based chapter of The Society of Professional Journalists attempted to trademark the term “Fake News” at U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to stop President Donald Trump from using it. The concern is that the term has been used to discredit legitimate news stories and to cause journalists less respected.


However, regardless of whether the trademark registers, the journalist group has little chance of successfully preventing anyone from using the term Fake News to describe news stories because such use is not a trademark use and Fake News is a generic term.


According to Factba.se, a site launched to track the president’s public comments, Trump has referenced the term over 1,300 times since he took office, that means an average of more than once a day.



"For what it’s worth, we don’t expect the trademark to get approved. No one can really trademark a generic term like “fake news,” which started being used long before Trump even took office. What we do hope is that this idea is outrageous enough to get people to stop and think about what fake news is, and what it means to them." - explained by Teen Vogue reporter Emily Bloch.


This is a good example how legal "weapons" are used in a creative way to get public attention.


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