The Other McCain

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Witchy Woman: Did Christine O’Donnell Try to Hijack ‘Occupy vs. Tea Party’?

Posted on | August 17, 2012 | 26 Comments

This is either (a) a serious trademark infringement or (b) a generous gesture of free publicity: We told you last month about Gordon Gebert’s proposed “Occupy vs. Tea Party” reality-TV show. A few days ago, I learned that Gordon got the funding to make it happen, and will begin with a debate at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Well, it seems that Christine O’Donnell — whose Tea Party-backed GOP Senate campaign made national news in 2010 — has planned an event for Tampa that got headlined by ABC News, “Christine O’Donnell to Stage Tea Party vs. Occupy Debate in Tampa,” which provoked an outraged reaction from Gebert and his lawyers:

Former Delaware Tea Party candidate and “witch” Christine O’Donnell has issued a press release which has been picked up by ABC News, Yahoo News, DailyKos, et al… announcing Christine O’Donnell to Stage Tea Party vs. Occupy Debate in Tampa at Channelside Cinemas 10 IMAX Theater in Tampa, Florida just one block from the Tampa Bay Times Forum, site of the Republican National Convention. Problem is Christine O’Donnell was told in a conference call Thursday evening she could not use the Tea Party vs Occupy or the Occupy vs Tea Party name because both are trademarked and copy righted by Gordon G.G. Gebert, creator of the reality TV Show of the same name.
During the Thursday conference call O’Donnell was attempting to reach a broadcasting deal with The Young Turks while representing that she was the creator and owner of the trademark. Despite repeatedly being told by the Trademark & Copyright owner she could not use his brand in her Tampa event, O’Donnell decided she wanted to take her chances in litigation and told Gebert, “sue me.” According to spokesperson for Mr. Gebert after becoming aware of O’Donnell’s press release by email which was picked up by ABC News, Yahoo News, Huffington Post, and others; Attorney’s for Mr. Gebert will file the necessary documents to obtain a restraining order prohibiting O’Donnell from proceeding with the unauthorized use of his trademark brand to promote her event.

Read the whole thing. Is this a serious legal throw-down? Has O’Donnell attempted to rip off Gordon’s idea? Whatever it is, it has now added the vital element of controversy to the story and, in the news business, nothing is more valuable than controversy:


Get your money’s worth out of it, man.


26 Responses to “Witchy Woman: Did Christine O’Donnell Try to Hijack ‘Occupy vs. Tea Party’?”

  1. JeffS
    August 17th, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

    Could this be a chance for Christine to prove (or disprove) her bona fides as a witch?

    Only if Mr. Gingrich shows up!

  2. Adjoran
    August 17th, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

    Free Kasparov! Free Pussy Riot! Free Kasparov!

    Now we have a clue as to the “flexibility” Obama wants Putin to know he will have after his “last election.” Imprison dissenters, beat and arrest potential opponents. Transmit this information to Vladimir, Comrade!

    * * * * *

    Trademarks are often issued pro forma, without investigation. It is possible that “Occupy vs Tea Party” was enough of a public discussion before the trademark was submitted to remain in the public domain. So O’Donnell’s “sue me” has a point: if the “owners” lose, they have problems with their reality show. So they will probably be content with the publicity the controversy brings.

  3. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    August 17th, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

    Brilliant pot stirring!

    Did I mention all the ladies love Paul Ryan? Even Hillary Clinton…who wants to keep her options for 2016. Everyone except one old witchy woman. Did I say “witchy”? My spelling can often be off.

  4. Stephen Sywak
    August 17th, 2012 @ 4:33 pm

    Well, you would think that if the phrase had been in the public domain, G^4 & Co. wouldn’t have been able to trademark or copyright it!

    So…assuming their claims are legit, I do hope that win the case. And I further hope that they are able to grab the publicity back from Ms. Not-Witch!

    But for now….this fighting is good for both goose and gander.

  5. Christine O’Donnell steps in it. Again. « The Radio Patriot
    August 17th, 2012 @ 5:26 pm

    […] she set herself up for further ridicule with a TV spot in which she claimed she was not a witch. Oh […]

  6. K-Bob
    August 17th, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

    I was gonna write something similar.

    “Occupy vs. Tea party: the Google Smackdown,” was posted Fri Feb. 24, 2012 4:00 AM PST (not linking Mother Jones, sorry)

    Also, make of it what y’all will: About 2,260,000 results for the search phrase on Google just now. With quotes around it, though, just 39,000. Pretty relevant to the story, too.

    This live “forum” on TV in Fort Wayne might end any chance of winning the suit. Depends on who was involved, I guess.

  7. K-Bob
    August 17th, 2012 @ 5:50 pm

    Let’s just award O’Donnell a free visit to Ace of Spades HQ, and a couple of internets and call it a day.

  8. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    August 17th, 2012 @ 6:09 pm

    And the woman I am talking about is not Christine O’Donnell. But she is of Irish background (but old). And she has a lot of mileage.

  9. David Patterson
    August 17th, 2012 @ 7:30 pm

    How asinine must Christine O’Donnell be? Does she think this is a good thing for her political reputation?
    I hope Gebert sues the crap out of her.

  10. Ms.Christine O’Donnell, Occupy vs. Tea Party Isn’t Your Idea! | Goldwater Gal
    August 17th, 2012 @ 7:33 pm

    […] work– which has been copyrighted and trademarked since November of 2011.   Robert Stacy McCain also posted about this today and reported that according to Lawrence Sinclair of the Sinclair News-LS News […]

  11. Ms.Christine O’Donnell, Occupy vs. Tea Party Isn’t Your Idea!
    August 17th, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

    […] work– which has been copyrighted and trademarked since November of 2011.   Robert Stacy McCain also posted about this today and reported that according to Lawrence Sinclair of the Sinclair News-LS News […]

  12. Amanda M.
    August 17th, 2012 @ 7:44 pm

    Christine was the one who put this on the calendar. GGGG wasn’t brought into the live debate until long after the live debate was scheduled.

  13. Amanda M.
    August 17th, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

    Besides, GGGG was planning a game show, which is why he was using Chuck. According to the press release, it’s a debate, not a gimmicky game show.

  14. David Patterson
    August 17th, 2012 @ 10:24 pm

    Why is my name being Christine O’Donnelled? (hi-jacked!)

    Christine O’Donnell looks like the typical, self-entitled, political, greedy, egotistical moron in this scenario. Gebert shouldn’t back down on the witch. Sue her all the way down to the broom.

  15. Anna
    August 17th, 2012 @ 10:27 pm

    An interview with Gebert has his usage of the title way before Feb 24. Gebert wins

  16. K-Bob
    August 18th, 2012 @ 12:35 am

    ACU hosted a similar panel in Feb of 2012. A LOT of blogs ran a similarly title post over the span from Sept 2011 thru Feb 2012, too.

    The Occupy Movement started in Sept. of 2011, according to the WeakeyPedia article.

    New York Daily News had this article on Oct 27, 2011: “Occupy Wall Street V. Tea Party: The Metrics

    If it became a common thing, then he loses.

  17. ccassone
    August 18th, 2012 @ 9:03 am

    Trademark and Service Mark are very focused and deal with precisely what is being sold. Here, it is a reality TV show. That means no one can use the OvsTP monicker on a TV show. Go Gordon…they even named a Hurricane after you.

  18. Amanda M.
    August 18th, 2012 @ 10:54 am

    They applied for it, they haven’t been granted it. Besides, that’s like me applying for “Lemonade Stand” and you using “The Lemonade Stand.” The gimmicky TV game show GGGG is starting is different from a one time live debate.
    The event happening in Tampa was planned long before GGGG was reached out to.

  19. BigFurHat
    August 18th, 2012 @ 4:39 pm

    I understand that the “one time debate” has been sold to Current TV as a show. So much for your armchair judgements.
    And what are the odds that O’Donnell was having Chuck Woolery host this one time on stage debate – the very same host that Gebert had booked to be his TV host?
    Commenting so shitsuredly with no facts is no way to go through life.

  20. BigFurHat
    August 18th, 2012 @ 4:41 pm

    According to Christine O’Donnell, she published that Chuck Woolery was the host of “her” debate. She has pulled that bit of info from her press release.
    Why doesn’t she just call her debate Left versus Right?

  21. David Patterson
    August 18th, 2012 @ 9:24 pm

    Amanda M. is a Christine O’Donnell lackey. Gebert has Chuck Woolery as the official host for his “gimmicky” show. Christine O’Donnell HAD Chuck Woolery for her show – wonder how she got him? O’Donnell is toast. I hope Gebert sues the crap out of her, the dumb witch!

  22. Mike Rogers
    August 19th, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

    Well Apologies to you, but not to Gebert, for missing the announcement here of his reality show.
    So let me see…
    An unknown TV guy creates yet another reality TV show, by putting two commonly used terms in its title, somehting which has been done many times before. It is neither the first nor the last time that a phrase similar to “Occupy Wall St vs TEA Party” will be used. You also can’t tell me that O’Donnell’s event, which must have been in planning for a considerable time, suddenly stole its title from a previously unheard-of proposed (not running) TV show. In other words, your non-uniquely named, stealth, poorly publicized PROPOSED TV show, can somehow trademark the juxtaposition of two commonly used terms, and claim that common use of those same two terms is now an infringement??? The ridiculous threats from Gebert against O’Donnell look like a failed liberal producer trying to grab some free publicity off a well-known conservative, who still has some pulling power two years after her defeat.
    Let’s try some comparisons here:
    It would be like Fox announcing a documentary “Obama vs Romney” and MSNBC whining they they’d had an identically named program in the works.
    It would be like HP suing Texas Instruments over use of the term “Numeric Keyboard” on a calculator.

    So, the unknown Gebert harasses and then sues the well-known O’Donnell in order to get fame and funding for is PROPOSED TV show (IE nobody’s taken him up yet).
    Who looks like a whining loser here, exactly??

  23. Trevor Braden
    August 19th, 2012 @ 1:19 pm

    Gebert was working with O’Donnell’s people. Then got ripped off.

    Google Gordon Gebert occupy tea party

    Do some research before you post stupidity!

  24. bev carlson
    August 19th, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

    It is so obvious Christine O’Donnell’s minions are out trying to do damage control. O’Donnell, you screwed up – do the right thing – honor the law! This is not going to end well for the reputation of Christine O’Donnell.

  25. Mike Rogers
    August 19th, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

    I will research.
    I do stand by my assertion that you can’t trademark common names.

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

  26. Mike Rogers
    August 23rd, 2012 @ 11:24 am

    I did my research, and will “Ditch the Witch”. I had previously been sympathetic, especially after Castle and the RINOs sabotaged her hampaign.