CORRECTION: Outfit Selling $100 “Historic COVID-19 Coins” Is No Longer Formally Connected To The WH

From the official site of the White House gift shop:

COVID-19 , WE FOUGHT THE UNSEEN ENEMY, Everyday Heroes, President Donald J, Trump, Vice President Michael R. Pence, Secretary S. Mnuuchin, Drs. Jerome Adams, Deborah Birx, Anthony Fauci.

Pre-Order Special Price $100. 20% of Proceeds Donated Each Day to U.S. Hospitals including Johns Hopkins for its COVID-19 Coordination and Trackins.

The 11th Coin in the Globally Recognized White House Gift Shop, Est. 1946®. Historic Moments Coin Collection. Giannini Series Limited First Edition. Hand Signed Parchment Certificate of Recognition by Giannini.



After my post went up and we noticed more misspellings in the offerings, I became suspicious and it turns out that in 2018 Talking Points Memo went to through great lengths to find out the truth about the White House Gift Shop.

The history of the Gift Shop goes back to a service organization affiliated with the US Secret Service. As recently as a decade ago it was run by the United States Secret Service Uniformed Division Benefit Fund. But on December 27th, 2011 the UDBF signed a contract with Giannini Strategic Enterprises to take over the Gift Shop business and run it on the UDBF’s behalf. In essence, the UDBF licensed GSE to run their store on its behalf.

Oncce Giannini was gifted the Gift Shop he went to the US Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the name White House Gift Shop. From what I can tell his initial application was rejected on the pretty straightforward argument that it gave the false impression that it was part of the White House.

Giannini made a counter argument that there were other trademark holders with the phrase “white house” in their title (though those don’t suggest any connection to the Executive Office of the President) and that, contrary to the Trademark office’s claim, the actual White House (the governmental institution) was in fact connected to the company. The Trademark office bought this argument and issued the trademark. It seems to be the only trademark in existence specifically referencing a relationship to the White House.

Bottom line: The White House Gift Shop owns the federally sanctioned trademark on its name but is NOT actually connected to the White House any longer.