“I understand that I cannot use ANY trademarks and/or logos.”
Yes, that is specifically stated on the Statement of Agreement for the Spring 2006 FAMU student elections, which every candidate signs before campaign week.
However, some candidates are not following that rule. Illegally using a company’s trademark seems to be the source of many whispers.
According to http://www.investopedia.com, “Any infringement on a trademark is illegal and therefore grounds for the company owning the trademark to sue the infringing party.” Yet FAMU’s campaign week is riddled with examples of this.
Should there be consequences for the candidates or is it just harmless student-to-student campaigning?
Trademark infringement is a federal offense and a violation of U.S. patent law, which opens the door for big corporations to press charges.
If these companies decide to press charges against students, it will have both a positive and negative effect. For example, if Pizza Hut decides to press charges, the media will shun the company for having a lack of sympathy by suing innocent college students. On a positive note, candidates will be more mindful of their campaign materials.
But, this also falls on the shoulders of the Electoral Commission, which allowed the materials in the first place. Rules are made to be followed.
-Nyerere Davidson for the editorial board