Judge grants RNC trademark injunction against Republican Party VI
Representatives of the Republican National Committee on Wednesday obtained a preliminary injunction against two Republican Party officials from the Virgin Islands. But the federal judge who granted their motion said the court would not decide whether or not defendants John Canegata and Robert Schanfarber were as party officials.
Canegata is the state chairman of the Republican Party of the Virgin Islands. Schanfarber is a former member of the Republican National Committee and previously won a seat on the Board of Elections as a Republican nominee.
In granting the injunction, Chief District Judge Robert Molloy said the decision stemmed from a “simple” case involving trademark infringement. The judge’s order prohibits Canegata and Schanfarber from using trademarks to raise funds, organize party-branded activities or form a political action committee on behalf of the Grand Old Party.
The marks in question are the right-facing elephant logo, engraved with three stars and the terms GOP, RNC and Republican National Committee.
Lawyers for the national committee told the court that Canegata and Schanfarber allegedly violated the Lanham Act, committed trademark infringement twice and also diluted the committee’s mark. Because the charges were all similar in the eyes of the law, Molloy said national committee officials could prevail if any of the charges were successful on the merits.
In the memorandum and opinion released on Wednesday, Molloy noted that the local party used the term VIGOP in fundraising activities and had a logo similar to the brand image.
Molloy also pointed out that when the parties appeared in court for an injunction hearing on June 8, defense attorney Yohanna Manning admitted that the national committee owned the marks in question.
“…the defendants clearly intended to copy the RNC. The trademarks used by the defendants are identical to those indisputably held by RNC, ”wrote the judge. “The Court finds that the defendants intentionally manipulated their marks to resemble those of RNC.”
Canegata has not made himself available to comment on the legal contest since the proceedings began earlier this year. But Manning spoke to a reporter after the June hearing and said local party fundraising activities were part of a nationwide strategy in which all Republican parties would raise funds to support ongoing campaigns. somewhere else.
This is why local party officials formed VIGOP as a political action committee, Manning said. Molloy agreed, saying in Wednesday’s ruling that there was “evidence of VIGOP’s use of the remaining mark.”
“It amounts to the defendants raising $406,786.91 by expressly posing as affiliated members of the RNC,” Molloy said.