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HBO angered over Trump’s Game of Thrones tweet

Written by Ellis Sweetenham on 06 November 2018

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President Donald Trump is not one to always follow the book and this time he may have stepped over the line of the law with a tweet.

Last week, Trump tweeted the phrase ‘Sanctions are coming’, which the White House later clarified was referring to the launch of a campaign to deny Iran funds.

Hours after such tweet, HBO, the US cable and satellite television network and the network who airs hit show Game of Thrones, responded with “How do you say trademark misuse in Dothraki?”, which refers to a fictional language used in the show.

This appears to relate to the show’s popular slogan ‘Winter is coming’ and infers that HBO feel the President’s tweet infringes on this. HBO’s phrase is protected by three US trade marks for a range of products and services.

While HBO has released a statement which states the following:

“We were not aware of this messaging and would prefer our trademark not [to] be misappropriated for political purposes.”

There is nothing to suggest that a formal complaint has been filed. It is not clear as to whether they are seriously considering taking formal action or wished to just put the cat amongst the pigeons for publicity purposes.

This is not the first time Trump has pushed the boundaries of IP law and it is likely to not be the last.

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