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Is Obamacare a Trademark?
According to thee authoritative sources, the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office has stated there have been applications attempting to capitalize on the name Obamacare. In short, it’s not going to happen. For many reasons, it seems near impossible to trademark the word as any exception leads to a dead end.
The Federal Law states clearly that you cannot trademark a living person. Once the person passes on, hope many years from now, then the option may be considered. Oh, but wait there is a snag in that particular exception. Interestingly enough while the law states one cannot trademark a living person, it also prohibits trade marking a United States President living or deceased.
It gets better however. The particular terminology in question is generic in nature since the PPACA or ACA for short is also commonly known as Obamacare. While Obamacare is not the name of the individual the U.S. Patent Office has already determined it’s ruling: filing that ‘Obamacare’ is too closely associated with President Barack Obama. This coming from a company in Rockwell, Texas, HR Outsource ‘Trendsetter HR’ attempted to trademark “Obamacare Calculator”. Specifically “the mark contains the surname “OBAMA” in full, and the term “OBAMACARE” is readily recognized as referring to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, such that consumers would recognize and understand the mark as identifying President Barack Obama.”
Moreover, while there has never been a word Obama other than a prescription drug known as metrobamate, any words containing Obama are now entered into the American language directly and solely due to the recognition that is associated with the President. Such words now have a title known as “Obamafications”.
Fiorella Insurance, Inc for reason of insurance brokerage located in Stuart, Florida, attempted to trademark the phrase “Obamacare Enrollment Team”. Under the similar filing as above, while one may argue that Obamacare, in and of itself, is a law aka the affordable care act, and not the actual name of the President/living person, you would still have to overcome the other issue: trade marking a service. The phrase “enrollment team” would be difficult if not impossible to obtain ownership rights to own exclusively.
The bottom line is that while the term Obamacare can be used, no one will have exclusive rights trademark protection for the term or its inclusion in any phrases or tag lines.