Veterans Administration Trademarks "GI Bill"

Veterans Administration Trademarks “GI Bill” to Halt Deceptive Advertisements

Deceptive advertising has led many veterans astray when slick online marketing campaigns go after veterans educational benefits for schools and training programs which either do not exist or don’t live up to the standards or accreditation criteria necessary to meet the true GI Bill requirements.

In an effort to protect veterans from being fooled into thinking these private companies are actually government sponsored or government approved programs, the VA has now trademarked the term “GI Bill”.

For about two years, VA’s online communications team has been closely tracking the advertising and recruitment efforts of for-profit schools looking to bring in GI Bill tuition dollars. In some cases, these schools have ensnared Veterans looking for info by using official-looking websites, which funneled potential recruits to those schools without any balanced, objective information.

This all came to a head earlier this year, when the website was turned over to the VA after a group of state attorneys sued the company owning that website for misleading the public. That website now redirects to the VA.

This month, the VA announced the next step to prevent schools from using misleading information campaigns aimed at veterans using their educational benefits was to legally take ownership of the name “GI Bill”.  The term ‘GI Bill’ has now been trademarked by VA with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. What that means is the VA is now the legal sole owner of the mark, and in the coming months, it will issue terms of use for the phrase.

With millions of dollars at stake, the move to trademark the GI Bill goes a long way to enforce accountability to those who would deceive student Veterans for financial gain.  Once the proper usage criteria is established, VA officials say they will be vigilant toward assuring the trademark is no longer misused.

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