President Barack Obama's election campaign has reached a settlement with a local vendor the campaign sued for allegedly using its "Rising Sun" logo without permission.
In a joint motion (PDF) filed yesterday, the campaign and the vendor, DemStore.com, notified the court that they had reached a settlement that included asking the court for a permanent injunction against DemStore selling merchandise featuring the logo. Any other settlement terms are confidential.
The filing comes about a week after U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan granted the campaign's request for a preliminary injunction.
The campaign sued DemStore and its parent company, Washington Promotions & Printing, in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on June 1. According to the complaint, the logo was first trademarked for the president's campaign in 2008 and then a similar logo was trademarked in 2011 for the current campaign cycle.
The campaign expressed concern in filings that DemStore's unauthorized use of the logo on its merchandise would confuse consumers and give the false impression that DemStore was formally affiliated with the campaign. This confusion, the campaign argued, would hurt its ability to raise money, especially in the six months leading up to the election when the majority of merchandise is sold.
DemStore had fought back against the case, arguing that the campaign knew about its alleged infringement as early as 2007 but never took any action, so it was too late for them to argue that they needed immediate relief. The company also said that the campaign didn’t show it would suffer "irreparable harm" because a donation to a campaign is different than buying outside merchandise.
A spokesperson for the campaign was not immediately available for comment. The campaign is being represented by a team from Perkins Coie's Washington, Chicago and Seattle offices. Washington partner Barry Reingold referred a request for comment to the campaign.
An attorney for DemStore, Jeffrey Cohen of Millen, White, Zelano & Branigan in Arlington, Va., confirmed in an e-mail this morning that the settlement is confidential, but did not comment further.