Washington, D.C. (December 12, 2012) — The American Freedom Law Center (AFLC), a national nonprofit public interest law firm, has joined forces with former Reagan administration officials to defend the well-known slogan, “Peace through Strength,” which was popularized by the former President as he led America to victory in the Cold War. The slogan is now in the midst of a trademark dispute that has engulfed Washington, D.C. As a result, several former friends and aides of Reagan are fighting – with AFLC’s legal assistance – to preserve the President’s legacy from a “fraudulent misrepresentation.”
Last year, the American Security Council Foundation (ASCF), a small policy organization based in Washington, D.C., trademarked the popular Reagan slogan 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.
This past week, AFLC, which is representing CSP, 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.
AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel David Yerushalmi, who also serves as CSP’s General Counsel, commented: “ASCF’s claim to a trademark is simply absurd. Under this claim, even the Republican Party would have to seek ASCF’s permission to identify “Peace through Strength” in its party platform. This slogan, which is now part of the history books, has no right to be trademarked by anyone, much less by an organization that is abusing President Reagan’s legacy for promotional purposes.”