In 2011, the American Security Council Foundation (ASCF), a small policy organization based in Washington, D.C., trademarked the popular Reagan slogan, “Peace Through Strength,” in spite of its widespread usage. ASCF, whose operations have been nearly dormant for over two decades, subsequently threatened to sue any individual or organization that used the slogan without their express permission.
This past October, ASCF filed a federal lawsuit against the Center for Security Policy (CSP), a national security think tank headed by Frank Gaffney, the former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy in the Reagan administration. CSP, through its agenda of promoting America as a force for maintaining peace and stability around the world, has used the slogan for years, as have many other organizations. (Indeed, the United States Navy designated “Peace through Strength” as the official motto of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan.)
The American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) is representing CSP. On December 9, 2012, AFLC responded to ASCF’s lawsuit with counterclaims, asserting that ASCF has engaged in “a scheme of fraudulent misrepresentation” by making a “sworn statement” to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that was “materially false.” Furthermore, AFLC asserted that ASCF acted in “bad faith” and “recklessly disregarded the facts,” and was “purposefully misrepresenting material facts to the USPTO” when it applied for the trademark.
CASE UPDATE: We negotiated a settlement agreement on behalf of our clients to end this federal lawsuit. After we took up the fight, ASCF caved in and agreed to cancel the trademark and pay a portion of CSP’s legal costs.