VA Now Sole Owner of ‘GI Bill’ Trademark; Eric Shinseki, Curtis Coy Comment

Eric Shinseki

The Department of Veterans Affairs has obtained trademark rights to the GI Bill and is now the sole owner of that term, the department announced Monday.

The VA said it took this step as part of its efforts to stop fraudulent marketing and recruiting practices that use the GI Bill mark and will issue terms of use within the next six months.

“We all want veterans to be informed consumers in their educational pursuit,” Secretary Eric Shinseki said.

“We want to ensure the right balance with these new guidelines so that our stakeholders can still promote GI Bill and we can prohibit others from using it fraudulently,” said Curtis Coy, deputy undersecretary for economic opportunity.

Coy told Stars and Stripes the department has not seen an increase in misleading activity but wanted to protect the name against misrepresentation.

Additionally, the VA acquired the rights to the website as the original owners have given up those rights.

According to Stripes, the marketing firm that owned agreed to pay $2.5 million in penalties and give up the domain due to criticism from the VA and a lawsuit from a group of state attorneys general that claimed the firm presented the site as an official resource on veterans’ education benefits.

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