Trump Tries to Trademark 'You're Fired!'

updated 03/18/2004 at 12:00 AM EST

originally published 03/18/2004 12:08PM

"The Apprentice" star -- and next week's PEOPLE coverboy -- Donald Trump, who is known for affixing his name in large letters on the buildings that he owns, is now trying to attach himself to his signature expression on the reality show, "You're Fired!"

According to papers filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and uncovered by the Smoking Gun Web site, The Donald, 57, seeks approval to use the expression exclusively on clothing and "games and playthings" in connection with "casino services."

The Web site, which also makes some cutting remarks about Trump's hair, his "overpriced" apartments and his "under-performing" Atlantic City casinos, notes that the New York-based real-estate developer filed his trademark application on Feb. 3, 2004 -- nearly a month after the Jan. 8 premiere of his NBC show.

Meanwhile, earlier this week it was reported that Atlanta-based T-shirt manufacturer Michael Hecht is supplying New York's flagship Bloomingdale's department store with T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan "You're Fired!"

Hecht's tees appear to be officially sanctioned by Trump, though it was not reported whether they were being licensed as part of a profit-sharing deal.

"I wish I could tell you I'm the genius behind this, but I'm not," Hecht told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "We do a lot of (licensing agreement) work for Bloomingdale's, and the Trump organization contacted them about doing a T-shirt line. Luckily, we've had a good enough reputation with Bloomingdale's established, and they referred the Trump organization to us."

Orders were up to 3,000 shirts, and growing, said Hecht. Men's models in white or charcoal go for $36; women's, in gray/white or white/red, for $24.

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