Barack and Michelle Obama Accused of ‘Deplorable Behavior’ as They Try to Take Another Company’s Trademark

Business dispute does not show former first couple in a good light

Image Credit: Shutterstock

An attorney for an e-publishing company has accused Barack and Michelle Obama of “deplorable behavior” after the former first couple filed to cancel his client’s trademark — and take it for themselves.

The Hollywood Reporter noted that the Obamas filed a petition to cancel the trademark of the company called Higher Ground Enterprises.

The couple had formed Higher Ground Productions LLC to broker a lucrative agreement with Netflix to produce films and television series.

They originally argued that the two similar names could co-exist in the market, something the U.S. Trademark Office rejected in refusing to register the Obamas’ claim back in April.

Rather than come up with a different name, the couple decided to try and take it for themselves — and filed a petition to cancel the trademark for Higher Ground Enterprises.

The attorney for the company, Larry Zerner, issued a statement condemning the Obamas’ “meritless petition to cancel my client’s trademark” and described their actions as “really deplorable behavior.”

“I hope that the Obamas realize that these actions are not consistent with the values they preach and that they instruct their attorneys to immediately dismiss the petition,” Zerner added.

Even the normally fawning Hollywood Reporter took a snarky jab at the Obamas for engaging in this trademark fight.

“When they go low, we go high,” said Michelle Obama at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Going high evidently includes a trademark fight.

The publication went on to describe the duo’s actions as “aggressive.”

“The U.S. Trademark Office rejects an application for Higher Ground Productions, so the former president and first lady get aggressive,” THR reported.

In May of 2018, Netflix announced it had signed the Obamas to a multiyear deal to produce “scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries, and features.”

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That came less than two months after the company had added Susan Rice — former national security adviser and ambassador to the United Nations — to its board.

The New York Times reported that the agreement with Netflix would provide the Obamas with a “global” and “unfiltered” platform to the public — a role previously held by the American media.

This piece originally appeared in The Political Insider and is used by permission.

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