Unauthorized usage of the seal of the County of Union / Union County Citizens Forum

By Tina Renna | January 23, 2011


The Union County Citizen’s Forum aired a new show reviewing the December 2010 freeholder meetings last week. The show was launched in December 2009 with a sign which depicted a light shining on the Union County seal, which was meant to symbolizing a light shining on Union County Government.

In September the county bullied the Township of Cranford, where the show is produced, with a letter stating in part “It has come to the attention of the County of Union that your entity is using the Seal of the County of Union without proper authorization. The County of Union demands that your entity cease and desist use of the Seal of the County of Union in any way including, but not limited to, displaying it in the background of all television shows ….
“Union County Seal is a pending trademark, therefore you are committing trademark infringement.” “You are not to use the county seal, and proof that any television show, picture, advertisement or publication has been changed to eliminate use of the Seal of the County of Union is hereby demanded.”

This wasn’t my fight to take up, so I changed the sign. This month instead of shining a light on the county seal the show’s sign was changed to show a light shining on George Devanney, the appointed county manager who is Sen. Ray Lesniak’s nephew.

In retrospect, this is a better symbol of shining a light on Union County government. The County Seal is representative of Union County’s past, Devanney is representative of all that Union County government has become.