SCOTUS Agrees to Hear 'Trump Too Small' Case

Man tried to register phrase as trademark
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2023 2:18 PM CDT
SCOTUS Agrees to Hear 'Trump Too Small' Case
Former President Donald Trump visits with campaign volunteers at the Grimes Community Complex Park, Thursday, June 1, 2023, in Des Moines, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an unusual case in which the Biden administration is fighting a man's attempt to trademark a slogan that includes the name Trump. Attorney Steve Elster has been trying for years to trademark "Trump Too Small" for use on T-shirts, Politico reports. In his 2018 application, he wrote that it was intended to send the message "that some features of President Trump and his policies are diminutive," per USA Today. The US Patent and Trademark Office rejected the application, noting that a federal law bans trademarks that use a person's name unless that person gives written consent.

Last year, however, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit sided with Elster, saying that he has the right under the First Amendment to criticize public officials, the Washington Post reports. The Biden administration appealed to the Supreme Court in January. The court is expected to hear arguments this fall and issue a ruling next year. Elster came up with the T-shirt slogan after Sen. Marco Rubio spoke about Trump's hands during the 2016 GOP primaries, saying, "You know what they say about men with small hands." After a pause for laughter, he added: "You can't trust 'em," per the Post. At a debate days later, Trump said of the size of his hands, and other body parts, "I guarantee you there's no problem." (More US Supreme Court stories.)

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