Donald Trump’s social media operation appears to be facing significant money problems just as it lost a bid to obtain a trademark.
RightForge, a Truth Social creditor, announced in October that it would host Truth Social and operate its web system. But now it claims Truth Social made only three monthly payments for the work and is threatening legal action, according to Fox Business.
RightForge claims Trump’s Truth Social owes some $1.6 million in contractually obligated payments, as reported by Fox Business — an allegation suggesting Truth Social’s finances are in “significant disarray.” According to Fox, Truth Social nor RightForge CEO Martin Avila would discuss details.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office found that Trump’s company name was “confusingly similar” to other entities, including Vero — True Social, an app-based social media platform, and the Truth Network, a Christian radio broadcast network.
Josh Gerben, a trademark lawyer in Washington, posted the filing on Twitter Thursday, noting: “Ideally, you would pick a name where this wasn’t going to happen.”
The USPTO has refused Donald Trump’s trademark application for “TRUTH SOCIAL.”
The basis of the refusal is the existence of multiple pre-existing “TRUTH” trademarks.
Trump will have 6 months to file a response and argue against the refusal. #DonaldTrump #TruthSocial pic.twitter.com/mPBLbQ1V3d
— Josh Gerben (@JoshGerben) August 25, 2022
Other developments also have shaken Truth Social, which was launched after Trump was removed from Twitter in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection. Trump has been using the platform much as he did with Twitter — to complain he’s being victimized and to attack his enemies.
Last week, Digital World Acquisition Group, the special purpose acquisition company planning to merge with Truth Social to take it public on Wall Street, delayed its earnings report.
The SPAC has been under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for possibly negotiating the merger deal before DWAC went public, which would violate the law.
On Monday, Digital World disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that a dip in Trump’s popularity could hurt the business. The filing noted that Truth Social’s success hinges on the “reputation and popularity” of Trump, who chairs the Trump Media and Technology Group, which owns and operates the social media platform.
“In order to be successful, TMTG will need millions of those people to register and regularly use TMTG’s platform,” the filing reads. “If President Trump becomes less popular or there are further controversies that damage his credibility or the desire of people to use a platform associated with him … [the merger] could be adversely affected.”
Former President Trump remains embroiled in controversies, including a federal criminal investigation into his plot to overturn his election defeat and a separate probe into his hoarding of classified government documents at Mar-a-Lago.