Trademark challenger: Fired up over 'The Apprentice',
by Kelly Gyenes
fans of NBC's "The Apprentice" gear up for
the final firing, one failed contestant is gearing
up for a fight with the man who fired her.
Conners, 22, from New Richmond, Wisconsin, was fired
in week six's episode of "The Apprentice,"
the reality show featuring several people competing
to win a $250,000 job with real estate mogul Donald
Trump's organization. Each week, a contestant is dismissed
from the show by Trump with what has become the latest
catchphrase, "You're fired."
fired Conners, in part, for not standing up for herself
in a boardroom showdown with rival Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth.
Conners has taken a stand against Trump by applying
to register three trademarks in an effort to capitalize
on her experience with the show and market products
she said she intends to develop.
has joined the list of people trying to register the
trademark "You're Fired" -- in her case,
for the purpose of producing a clothing line.
said she has also submitted applications to register
"The Apprentice" under the trademark classifications
of clothing and literature. In addition to starting
a "You're Fired" clothing line, she said
she would like to write a book and perhaps produce
a magazine titled "The Apprentice."
Trump applied to register "You're Fired"
(without exclamation point) for games and playthings
and casino services. In addition, Trump has applied
to register "You're Fired!" (with exclamation
point) for paper goods, home furnishings, pillows,
housewares, linens, toys and sporting goods, alcoholic
beverage and clothing purposes.
JMBP Inc., the production company of show creator
Mark Burnett, has filed to trademark "You're
Fired" (without exclamation point) for clothing,
footwear and headgear. Burnett has also filed to register
"The Apprentice" for entertainment and television
purposes, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark
Office Web site.
Trump nor Burnett could be reached for comment.
admits that she has entered a "gray area,"
because of the rights the show has to promote and
advertise itself, and her contract with the show.
legal debate already is heating up around the rush
on trademarks related to the NBC hit.
question is whether or not the public would perceive
[the words] as a trademark or a message," said
Roger Schechter, professor of law at George Washington
University Law School.
the public view the words as a communication or believe
that the words are sponsored or licensed by Donald
Trump? Schechter said the answer depends on what the
public's reaction and perception would be.
in our world is gray, is kind of 'maybe,' " Schechter
Trump summarized Conners best in his new book, "Trump:
How to Get Rich," in which he wrote: "You've
got to fight back if you want to be successful in
business." While Trump noted in the book that
Conners didn't defend herself on the show, he also
concluded: "Don't underestimate her."
this apprentice has learned a lesson from the master.
"Who knows if I'll get [the trademarks] or not,"
Conners said. "But the fact that I stood up and
I am doing it and I am fighting ... that's where the
fun is for me."
TV is simply not real, by Greg Tingle