A Montgomery County judge will hear arguments next week about the use of apple imagery in campaigns.
The Montgomery County Education Association and Maryland State Education Association filed an infringement claim Friday morning in Montgomery County Circuit Court. The teachers unions are seeking an injunction to stop Republican Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr.’s campaign from using red apples and the phrase “Teachers for Hogan” in campaign literature. A county judge declined to issue a temporary restraining order Friday morning, but scheduled the hearing next week to consider a preliminary injunction. “It is unfortunate that Governor Hogan’s campaign was not amenable to resolving this matter quickly and without fanfare, thereby forcing us to file a lawsuit to protect our trademark,” MSEA spokesman Adam Mendelsohn said in a written statement on Friday. “… We are confident in the merits of our case and look forward to next Friday’s hearing. MCEA and MSEA will continue to vigorously defend our registered trademark of an apple in connection with phrases that imply the political endorsement of educators or teachers, no matter the candidate or political party.” Scott Sloofman, communications director for Hogan for Governor, issued a statement on Friday praising the judge’s decision not to issue a temporary restraining order. “The image of the apple has been used by PTAs, schools, education groups and public officials for generations. No one owns the generic image of the apple, not even the teachers union,” Sloofman wrote. “We look forward to establishing this at the preliminary injunction hearing next Friday.” [email protected]