The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute is suing a Republican political consulting group and political action committee, alleging the former president’s name and image are being used without authorization to market and sell @trumpreagan email addresses and solicit donations.
The Simi Valley-based foundation contends that Political Media Inc. and the Constitutional Rights PAC are violating federal copyright protections by operating a website to promote a Trump-Reagan Club and sell email accounts and collect cash contributions by unlawfully using Reagan’s name and image, according to the lawsuit filed late Wednesday in Los Angeles federal court.
Messages seeking comment from the Virginia-based groups were not immediately answered. Former president Donald Trump is not a party to the suit.
The foundation alleges that the Reagan image allows the defendants “to palm off their goods and services on the unsuspecting public as those of the Reagan Foundation.”
The Reagan Foundation alleges trademark infringement and cyberpiracy, claiming the defendants began using Reagan’s name and image unlawfully last month to advertise, market and sell Trump-Reagan email addresses and solicit money at www.trumpreagan.us.
The website trumpets the line, “Make Email Great Again,” and offers membership in the Trump-Reagan Club, which allows members to have their own @trumpreagan.com email address, with a monthly donation of “any amount.”
The plaintiffs contend that use of the Reagan image enables the defendants to unfairly receive the “benefit and goodwill” associated with the Reagan Foundation.
Throughout the website, images of Reagan are spliced together with pictures of Trump.
Use of Reagan’s trademarks in combination with those of Trump “falsely indicates” that the Trump-Reagan website and club are a co-branding effort between the Reagan Foundation and Trump, and that the foundation and Trump are somehow affiliated, the lawsuit states.