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Obama Campaign Sues Site for Selling Obama Gear

Lawsuit says 'Demstore.com' has violated trademark
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 4, 2012 2:42 PM CDT

(Newser) – President Obama's re-election campaign is suing a website that hawks T-shirts, bumper stickers and buttons with the campaign's signature "O" logo, claiming the store is infringing on its trademark. In a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in Washington, the committee asks the court to stop Demstore.com from selling products with two of its logos, saying the campaign is being harmed by the sale of the competing items. That's because the campaign makes money from merchandise sales on its own website.

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Steve Schwat, the owner of Washington Promotions & Printing Inc., which runs Demstore.com, said hundreds and maybe even thousands of companies make similar products and that he has never had an issue before. He says the company has been providing Democrats with political materials since 1985, and that state and county groups in particular rely on his site, because they're unwilling to pay the higher prices at Obama's official store. "I think people prefer to have the freedom to buy the merchandise where they want to," Schwat said. (Read more Barack Obama stories.)

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