OAKLAND, CALIF. (CN) – Common Sense Media, a nonpartisan organization that specializes in family-friendly media regulation and education, claims Common Sense Issues is violating its trademark to promote Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign along with a host of right-wing issues.
According to the suit, Common Sense Issues displays the Common Sense mark on TrustHuckabee.com to support the presidential candidacy of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and on CommonSenseIssues.com to champion right-wing activities and viewpoints. The organization also allegedly operates CubanHeroes.com, which currently broadcasts a mock newscast awarding US Representative Mark Udall, a Democrat, with the “Cuban Propaganda Award.”
Common Sense Issues drew national media attention late last year when it used the Common Sense Issues mark to identify the source of automatic, interactive phone calls regarding election issues in many states including Iowa and New Hampshire, the lawsuit claims. Although the highly-partisan calls were supposedly public opinion surveys, Huckabee himself denounced them as violating the spirit of his campaign and fellow candidate John McCain questioned their legality to New Hampshire’s Attorney General.Common Sense Media claims it will suffer irreparable harm if Commons Sense Issues is not barred from using its trademark.
The non-partisan group stands to lose public trust in its media ratings system and funding from cable companies like Comcast and Cox Communications that use its video reviews in their video-on-demand services. Common Sense Media alleges trademark infringement, unfair competition, false advertising and seeks an injunction