Obamas pressure black woman to relinquish ‘Higher Ground’ trademark


The post-presidential entertainment careers of Barack and Michelle Obama has hit a major obstacle: they don’t own the trademark of their “Higher Ground Productions.”

The Higher Ground portion of the name remains the intellectual property of businesswoman Hanisya Massey. Massey, who is black, runs Higher Ground Enterprises in Covina, California, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has ruled that the Obamas company name is too similar to Massey’s and the entrepreneur was there first, registering her name in 2017.

That was the beginning of the trademark war that started with an initial request from the Obamas’ lawyer for Massey to find another name. Massey refused but suggested she might be amenable to negotiation if she was included in some of the Obamas future projects.

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