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US president hopeful Benjamin Carson has accused online retailer Cafepress.com of selling products that infringe his intellectual property rights.
In an email sent to Lindsay Moore, IP rights agent at Cafepress.com, a lawyer representing Carson requested that the website halt the “unauthorised postings, selling, and offering for sale of any and all unauthorised ‘Ben Carson for president’ products” and that the products be removed and disabled.
The products at the centre of the dispute are bumper stickers, caps and T-shirts bearing Carson’s name and images. Many contain variations of the phrase ‘Ben Carson for president 2016’, which the candidate has applied to register as a trademark at the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Other products display images of Carson and other phrases such as 'It will take a brain surgeon to fix this country' and 'Ben Carson is my homeboy'.
Carson, a former brain surgeon, is aiming to be the Republican presidential candidate for the national election due to take place next year.
The email, dated September 10 and sent by Clyde Vanel, partner at the Vanel Law Firm, said: “It has come to our attention that an unauthorised use of my client's IP, including but not limited to trademark infringement, copyright infringement and misappropriation of name and likeness … is being hosted on the CafePress.com service and platform.
“The aforementioned action is a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Lanham Act, federal trademark infringement, federal copyright infringement, state misappropriation and privacy laws,” the email concluded.
According to a poll conducted by US news service CNN and published today, September 21, Carson is the third favourite to be the Republican presidential candidate.
He is behind fellow candidates Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina, who are first and second in the CNN poll respectively.
Ben Carson; trademark; copyright; CafePress.com; Ben Carson for president 2016; USPTO