Former President Donald Trump’s trademark application for his social media platform, “Truth Social,” has been rejected. Along with that complication, there are also claims that the platform’s finances might be in trouble.
While the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has rejected the social media platform’s trademark request, there have also been claims that Truth Social has not been paying RightForge, the internet infrastructure company that set up the platform’s web-servicing infrastructure, Fox News reported.
This has naturally led to speculation over Truth Social’s finances.
But the trademark rejection is also a blow to Truth Social.
The news of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s refusal was discovered when Josh Gerben, a trademark lawyer, tweeted a screenshot of the filing.
“The USPTO has refused Donald Trump’s trademark application for “TRUTH SOCIAL.” The basis of the refusal is the existence of multiple pre-existing “TRUTH” trademarks. Trump will have 6 months to file a response and argue against the refusal,” Gerben tweeted on Thursday.
The USPTO has refused Donald Trump’s trademark application for “TRUTH SOCIAL.”
The basis of the refusal is the existence of multiple pre-existing “TRUTH” trademarks.
— Josh Gerben (@JoshGerben) August 25, 2022
According to the filing, the patent office claimed that the name of Trump’s social media network was “confusingly similar” to other registered trademarks “Vero-True Social,” which is another social media platform, and “The Truth Network,” which is a Christian radio network, Insider reported.
Do you have a Truth Social account?
Yes: 44% (586 Votes)
No: 56% (742 Votes)
“In the present case, applicant’s mark, TRUTHSOCIAL, begins with the same dominant feature, TRUTH, as registrant’s mark, THE TRUTH NETWORK,” the filing read.
“Moreover, both marks also contain the wording SOCIAL meaning they look and sound similar generally outside of a small variation of TRUTH,” it added.
In conclusion, the USPTO stated that “Because the marks are similar and the goods and services are related, there is a likelihood of confusion as to the source of applicant’s goods and services, and registration is refused pursuant to Section 2(d) of the Trademark Act.”
Gerben commented that these complications that led to the rejection are typically why a very specific and distinct name needs to be chosen for a company like this.
“Ideally, you would pick a name where this wasn’t going to happen,” Gerben said, Axios reported.
But Trump does have until February of 2023 to respond to this rejection. Although this is a significant snag for the social media company, it is not necessarily the end of the road, according to Axios.
“This doesn’t spell the end for the trademark. Trump can appeal, which trademark lawyers believe is likely. Initial refusals aren’t uncommon and there are a couple moves the company can make to clear this hurdle,” Axios reported.
But, along with this trademark issue, Fox News also reported that “Truth Social … is locked in a bitter battle with one of its vendors claiming that the platform is stiffing the company out of more than $1 million in contractually obligated payments.”
In October of last year, RightForge, an internet infrastructure company, agreed to host Truth Social.
RightForge is now contending that Truth Social has reneged on its contracted monthly payments for setting up the social media platform’s web-servicing infrastructure, Fox News was told by three people with direct knowledge of the matter.
According to Fox’s sources, Truth Social has only made three payments to RightForge and has not made any additional payments since about March.
RighForge now claims that Truth Social owes about $1.6 million and is allegedly threatening legal action.
While the CEO of RightForge, Martin Avila, did not wish to comment “on any private matters,” he did not deny there was a disagreement between his company and Truth Social, Fox reported.
But in a statement, Avila did seem to still generally support Truth Social’s endeavors.
“Our founding vision is to make a second internet to support American ideas online. RightForge believes in the mission of President Trump’s free speech platform and wish to continue supporting the president in his media endeavors,” the statement read, according to Fox News.
Between the trademark rejection and the alleged payment issues with RightForge, Trump’s “Truth Social” appears to still have significant hurdles to get over as it continues forging ahead in the social media world.