2 November 2015Trademarks

US politicians ‘disturbed’ by DoD’s military trademark policy

A group of US politicians is “disturbed” by the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) decision to issue cease-and-desist letters to military organisations that have used official seals in commemoration materials.

Politicians from both the Republican and Democrat Parties challenged the trademark enforcement policy of the DoD in a letter sent to Ash Carter, US secretary of defense, dated October 22.

“It is difficult to understand the legal basis, never mind the logic, of the DoD threatening any non-profit veterans group with trademark liability for using official seals to honour our nation’s veterans,” the letter said.

The group cited a request from the DoD asking the United Veterans Council of Santa Clara County ( UVC) to remove a military seal from a flyer advertising its Memorial Day service on May 25. The politicians stated that the UVC is not alone in receiving such requests.

The DoD has sought to update its trademark policy to allow groups to more easily use military seals protected by registered US trademarks. But, while the politicians welcomed the upcoming change, they complained that “it does not solve the immediate issue of how veterans groups are to replace their banners and other parade materials for this year’s Veterans Day”.

Veterans Day is on November 11.

To solve the problem ahead of nationwide Veterans Day commemoration ceremonies, the politicians requested that each group be granted a one-time waiver to use official military seals.

Among the signatories to the letter are Zoe Lofgren and Corrine Brown from the Democrats, and Jim Sensenbrenner and Mark Amodei from the Republicans.

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Adrian Tapping at