Wednesday, September 16, 2020

"Retailers of 'morale patches' have come under fire from a recent lawsuit alleging that use of the term is a trademark infringement"

Military Times:

Much akin to airplane nose art in the distinction and prestige they provided service members, many morale patches were the forerunners of unit patches approved for wear today.

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Velcro enabled designs to become increasingly humorous and offensive in recent history, with soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines simply able to remove the patches from their uniforms when necessary. Numerous websites caught on to the trend and continue to offer custom-designed morale patches to troops.

Patch retailer Morale Patch Armory trademarked the widely used “morale patch” term in 2017 in a move that garnered backlash from consumers and retailers alike. The Iowa-based company even reported receiving death threats when Facebook removed a group with “morale patch” in its name for trademark infringement.

“We have not and as of right now have no intention of using litigation against anyone or any entity who sells or designs morale patches,” the company said in a 2017 Facebook article responding to the backlash.

Somewhere along the way, their intentions changed. Morale Patch Armory filed a lawsuit on Aug. 14 alleging that 281 unnamed companies were conducting “illegal operations” by using the trademarked term to sell similar goods.