Politicians bet that Brown delivers votes, UPS thinks not

Imitation may be the most sincere form of flattery, but UPS wants no part of it. The Atlanta-based delivery company is trying to stop a local politician in central Pennsylvania from using a variation of its slogan and trademarked shield icon in his campaign. A guy named George Brown is running for an at-large seat on the Centre County Council and has put the slogan “What can George Brown do for you?” and a shield that resembles the UPS icon (but with the slanted line on the shield sloping in the opposite direction) on his yard signs, mailers and campaign buttons. The shades of brown and gold the candidate uses also are slightly different than UPS’s. That’s not good enough for Brown the company. “UPS cannot allow the unauthorized use of any of its well-known marks,” a UPS rep says. The company said it planned to send a letter to Brown the candidate asking him to stop. Brown the candidate said he doesn’t know what he’ll do about the demand from Brown the company. All his campaign materials carry the logo and slogan, and the primary is scheduled for May 16. He apparently is not the only candidate in the race who is using a variation of the UPS campaign. A candidate for a different seat on the same council named Ed Brown has yard signs that say, “Brown delivers.” UPS said it is still reviewing that one to determine if it violates copyright or trademark laws.

—Posted by Jim Lovel