City Council Candidate Trademarks Local School’s Logo Then Demands Licensing Fees

Tech dirt reports

There is so much nuance to trademark law that it’s not surprising when some in the public don’t understand how it all works. This leads to all kinds of mistakes in terms of people thinking trademark law works in ways it does not. But the worst of these aren’t mistakes, but instead when opportunists think that they can use trademark law as a “gotcha” money-generating scheme.

Meet Kierstan Belle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Belle is currently running for a city council seat. For reasons I can’t quite make out even when I squint at them, Belle claims she managed to trademark the logo for the Gettysburg Area School District and is now demanding a licensing arrangement be made with the school district and a company that sells school apparel locally.

Kierstan (Demps) Belle, who is running for a seat in the Gettysburg Borough First Ward, posted a screenshot Tuesday on Facebook of an email sent to GASD officials, where she requested a meeting “to discuss the terms and conditions of our licensing fee.”

Belle, a 2010 Gettysburg Area High School graduate, confirmed Wednesday she did take down the post, alleging her “words were twisted and put on the Gettysburg Crimes” Facebook page. Belle, who serves on the Adams County Advisory Council to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, claims she wanted to use her business “to define what it truly means to be a Gettysburg warrior.”

However, she was not forthcoming with that definition.

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