Tea Partiers Rumble Over Merchandising Potential
[Tea Party Patriots] has sought to wrest domain names away from a radio host in Orlando (teapartypatriots.com) and a motorcycle-riding multimedia producer in Washington state (teaparty-patriots.com). It has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Zazzle, a website whose users can make and sell personalized merchandise, because a Georgia tea party group was selling its gear there. And the organization is embroiled in a thicket of legal actions against former board member Amy Kremer, who now chairs Tea Party Express. In 2009, TPP won a restraining order (PDF) barring Kremer from using the Tea Party Patriots name, trademark, domain name, and especially its most valuable asset—its email list. She has countersued (PDF) for slander and also opposed TPP’s trademark application, on the grounds that she put the term into circulation months before TPP was incorporated.
Who knew grassroots movements could be so money-driven?
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