Former US President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama have been accused of “deplorable behavior” after they applied to cancel the trademark of an e-book publisher.

In April, the Obamas had their application to trademark their own company name, Higher Ground Productions, rejected on the basis that it was almost identical to “Higher Ground Enterprises”, a publisher based in California.

The Obamas intend to use their company to create a range of TV series and documentaries, most notably for Netflix.

In this new action, the Obamas are seeking to cancel the e-book publisher’s trademark altogether on the grounds of lack of use. However, Larry Zerner, attorney for Higher Ground Enterprises, has condemned the Obamas’ action as “meritless”, saying “This is really deplorable behavior. I hope that the Obamas realize that these actions are not consistent with the values they preach and that they instruct their attorneys to immediately dismiss the petition”.

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