March 10, 2010
Marc Delphine was fond of the logo a volunteer had designed for his campaign for a U.S. Senate seat in Oregon: a silver star wrapped in a star-spangled banner that his designer told him evoked the letter 'D' for branding purposes.
It certainly was a memorable symbol. In fact, it was already being used by the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets, as Delphine was stunned to discover on Wednesday.
The Blue Jackets PR staff was alerted by fans over Twitter of the trademark infringement, and passed the matter along to their legal department and then to the NHL. Delphine said he received a phone call from The Oregonian newspaper about misuse of the logo, followed by "30 consecutive emails" from around the country about it.
"They were all like, 'What are you doing with their logo?' and I was like, 'I didn't make the logo!' and we pulled it immediately," said Delphine, a Libertarian candidate making history as the first openly homosexual man to run for the U.S. Senate in Oregon. "I'm not interested in any kind of infringement. We don't even need a logo."
He said a volunteer associated with his Web site developer created the logo and donated it to the campaign. As you can see, the Blue Jackets' current logo (right) was simply flipped from left to right and the red circle synonymous with the Ohio state flag was removed. Instead of a 'D' the logo actually makes a 'C' for Columbus.
Sometimes you get what you pay for, according to Delphine. "I don't know if you know anything about Libertarian candidates, but they typically don't have a lot of money coming in. I was thinking this was so nice, but it was too good to be true," said Delphine, a self-professed "huge sports fan" but not a hockey fan. "It's not very original."
He said he hoped his candidacy wouldn't become synonymous with this logo foul-up. "If anything, I hope this raises awareness for the Columbus Blue Jackets," said Delphine.