There is great value and importance for an educator-endorsed candidate to appear on MSEA’s effective Apple Ballot that members distributeu2026
There is great value and importance for an educator-endorsed candidate to appear on MSEA’s effective Apple Ballot that members distribute every election season. Because educator endorsements are so prized by candidates and respected by voters, MSEA — and each of its local affiliates — takes very seriously the process to engage and interview candidates before we make an endorsement.
Since 2009, the Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA) has been the registrant of both the apple and the use of “Teacher Recommended” in connection with political endorsements with the US Patent and Trademark Office. MSEA has a license agreement for the use of the Apple Ballot and the phrase “Teacher Recommended” and it is reserved for our endorsed candidates.
Over the years, MCEA and MSEA and its affiliates have established a vested right in using the Apple Ballot and “Teacher Recommended” to build our reputations for making student- and education-friendly endorsements. We have invested resources to brand our recommendations in the minds of voters as a source of reliable and thoughtful endorsements. As a result of our trademark, any other persons or entities are prohibited from using the brand or any deceptively similar mark that uses the apple and implies the broad political endorsement of educators.
Any effort on the part of any non-affiliated association, union, or candidate to copy or imitate our trademark constitutes a willful attempt to confuse or deceive voters regarding our recommendations specifically, and educators generally. Please notify MSEA of any such improper uses that you witness so we may continue to vigorously protect our trademark against infringement regardless of the candidate or political party.