Tom Scharfeld, a 40-year-old music teacher who acted as his own lawyer to protect iTrump [on Apple iTunes]: an app Scharfeld created to teach students how to play the trumpet — has been representing his own legal interests against Trump Organization’s mammoth legal team for six long years.
iTrump – ‘2-inch Trumpet’ with Trumpad – Spoonjack, LLC
Mr. Scharfeld created two apps, each using slang terms for the instruments to which they relate. iBone (from trombone) and iTrump (for trumpet). Scharfeld registered his trademarks back in December 2010 and then he began selling the apps from the iTunes store for $2.99 each.
Donald Trump’s legal team sent Scharfeld a letter requesting that he cease and desist from using the name iTrump, arguing that Mr. Scharfeld’s use of “Trump” within the app name would “dilute” the “famous” Trump trademark otherwise reserved for everything from… buildings to steaks to a scam “University and/or any number of failed property developments and casinos.
Tom Scharfeld could not afford to hire his own legal team to equal the one representing Donald Trump’s interest in the matter, so he became his own lawyer. He says went to the local law library and did extensive research, studying the forms and rules for the filing of documents.
As expected, Trump’s lawyers tried to overwhelm Mr. Scharfeld by burying him in paperwork, but they were unable to shake him.
Scharfeld argued common usage and showed that in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, trump is a common substitute for trumpet, and “trump” is used in the Bible as a reference for an actual trumpet.
He told Bloomberg “Trump’s lawyers didn’t seem to respect that I could do this. We won all the claims and defeated those against us.”
As is definitely consistent with Trump’s brand: Chief Legal Officer Alan Garten told Forbes via email, “We didn’t lose, we voluntarily withdrew.” This is sort of like how Donald Trump’s administration didn’t “lose” the battle to repeal and replace Obamacare because after the fact and despite feverish narrative to the contrary, he now says he planned to just let Obamacare fail on its own all along.