The presidential race is heating up and with any flurry of political activity comes an influx of trademarks hoping to capitalize on the nation's interest.
John McCain 2008 - The Exploratory Committee currently has two Federal trademarks, one registered & one pending, for "McCain Space" and "McCain." These applications were filed in January 2007 for, among other things, "promoting the public awareness of a candidate for election." A month later, Senator McCain announced on Late Show with David Letterman that he was seeking the nomination. It appears the trademarks were a harbinger of things to come.
Senator Clinton has been in the news recently about her use of "Solutions for America," which is a trademarked phrase owned by the University of Richmond. According to an article by Scott Jacshik of Inside Higher Ed, the university has "refused to answer any question about why the institution’s trademarked slogan was being used by the Clinton campaign and whether she had permission to do so."
Obama for America does have a pending Federal trademark for the logo associated with Senator Obama's campaign. The 9 different classes include such varied goods/services as golf balls, clothing, lapel pins, water bottles, fundraising, etc.
There are a number of sadly rejected trademark applications using some variation of a candidate's name. The refusals from the USPTO were "because the mark consists of or comprises matter which may falsely suggest a connection with the individual [candidate's name]."
Some examples of dead trademarks include "No Drama with Obama," "Hillary Clinton is Politically Incorrect" and "Bearack Obama."
Easily the most interesting, albeit confusing, is the filing for 08AMA for items like posters, campaign buttons, shirts, etc. What's puzzling is that the applicant does not seem to be affiliated with the Senator Obama campaign but rather is owned by FTK, a clothing store in Fresno, CA. The USPTO did question the applicant about the letters AMA, in particular if there was any significance as it pertained to the industry and/or goods listed on the application. The applicant responded that no significance existed, which the USPTO accepted. 08AMA is poised to become a Federally registered trademark.