The conservative outrage is palpable in this little story.
It’s ugly, too. Two of the worst excesses of, predominantly, liberal discourse are:
- Making boneheaded assumptions
- Making psychological judgements
The Obamas don’t deserve that treatment here, even if they may have earned it, being pretty good at both tactics themselves.
All the same, it’s a fair question: Why don’t the Obama’s just seek a different trademark?
I’ve been involved in a number of business start ups over the years. Not at any expert or high-finance level, but often enough to have seen a pattern: Some of the biggest fights inexperienced principles have amongst themselves are over the company name and logo. More experienced entrepreneurs I have known tend to shrug it off, as long as the name and logo are “good enough.”
But there are, indeed, lofty philosophical and practical considerations to weigh. For example, what kind of e-books does Higher Ground Enterprises publish? Are they ethical? Would their branding and marketing inevitably conflict somehow with any commercial interest the Obamas might pursue, no matter their own business name? Do the Obamas have a moral right to take down a competitor by any legal means available? And how much money had the Obamas already invested in their own corporate identity when they discovered the competing trademark?
These things can be complicated. That’s what piques our interest in them.