Gansler Campaign and Montgomery County Teachers Union Settle Apple Ballot Dispute

The Montgomery County Education Association sued Doug Gansler’s campaign after the union claimed the campaign violated its Apple Ballot trademark


Published:

Picture: On the left is the MCEA Apple Ballot, on the right is what MCEA says the Gansler campaign is distributing. Photo courtesy of MCEA.

 

Apparently you can trademark an apple—at least ballot-shaped one.

The Montgomery County Education Association announced Thursday it settled a lawsuit filed against former gubernatorial candidate Doug Gansler’s campaign for using literature on Primary Election Day that resembled its trademarked Apple Ballot, which the group uses to endorse candidates.

The flap began when MCEA representatives saw people affiliated with Gansler’s campaign handing out a flier that resembled MCEA’s ballot at polling locations June 24.

Gansler’s flier listed his name and other local officials and stated that they were “supported by teachers across Montgomery County,” even though MCEA endorsed Gansler’s primary opponent Anthony Brown in the race.

That day, MCEA filed an injunction to stop Gansler’s campaign from distributing the literature. Gansler said in response, according to The Washington Post, “They have a trademark on apples? They don’t.”

In this case, they do, according to an account of the settlement from MCEA. The settlement acknowledges that MCEA did register the Apple Ballot with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and that the campaign cannot challenge its validity or MCEA’s ownership of the trademark.

“MCEA’s Apple Ballot is a known, trusted and trademarked brand,” MCEA Executive Director Tom Israel said in a statement. “Today’s settlement reaffirms that the Apple Ballot will remain a valuable source of information for voters seeking candidates who are advocates for high-quality public education.”

MCEA represents more than 12,000 teachers, guidance counselors, and other school system educators in the county.

Back to Bethesda Beat

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Articles

Voter Asks Board of Elections To Review Connections Between Blair and Developer-Funded Group Empower Montgomery

Montgomery County executive candidate was previously listed as a co-founder of the group, but his campaign called the allegations ‘meritless’

Voters' Guide: Candidates for Congress

Here's what you need to know before you vote

Voters' Guide: Candidates for Montgomery County Board of Education

Here's what you need to know before you vote

Blair Continues To Significantly Outspend Rivals in County Executive Race

Businessman has spent more on his campaign than the combined spending of other five Democrats
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading
Local Professionals

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module

Edit Module
SPONSORED CONTENT
 

Joel Rubin for Delegate District 18

Apple Ballot endorsed, Chevy Chase Town Council member and Obama administration official, Joel will put education first so all students succeed. Early voting ends June 21.

SPONSORED CONTENT

Bethesda Magazine Green Awards

Nominations are now accepted. The submission deadline is Friday, June 29.