Trademark Cluelessness: The Other White Meat

from the morons-in-a-hurry dept

Headbhang was the first of a few of you to send in the news of favorite supplier of all things geeky, Thinkgeek, receiving an incredibly long and detailed cease and desist letter from the National Pork Board, complaining about its use of the phrase “the other white meat” on an April Fool’s joke offering for canned unicorn meat. The NPB is somewhat notorious for defending the “the other white meat” trademark, but even its high priced lawyers must know that there’s no likelihood of confusion here, and the parody defense would likely win out. Also, since for it to be infringement there needs to be actual “use in commerce” and this is a product that can not and will not ever be sold… does it even qualify? Not only that, but the NPB is looking for a new slogan for pork, so there won’t be much need to eliminate the confusion between pork and unicorn products. Even more importantly, did no one think that maybe, just maybe, sending a cease-and-desist over an April Fool’s joke might look bad?

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Companies: national pork board, thinkgeek

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Comments on “Trademark Cluelessness: The Other White Meat”

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Brian (profile) says:

Re: Re:

You are no longer allowed to remember “the good old days” as that phrase has now been trademarked. Use of such phrase in any form of communication be it written, verbal, or electronic is a violation of this trademark. Violation of this trademark will result in a lawsuit of up to $350 trillion dollars and up to a 4000 year jail sentence.

Also all your memories of the past have been copyrighted and the process of recollecting memories patented. You may not use memories, nor recollect them without prior consent from the current holder of the copyright and/or patent. Violation of memory copyright is subject to a fine of up to $47 trillion dollars and up to 9000 years in jail per infringement. Punishment for violating the patent will result in removal of your brain.

interval (profile) says:

Re: Re: ethics?

“Billable Hours.”

Indeed. I really don’t think there’s any thought on the part of anyone with half a brain. I think a clueless National Pork Board (a gov. entity, so think “Parks & Recreation”) admin. got wind of the parody, probably didn’t see or simply didn’t care it was an April Fool’s Parody, and fired off a memo to the legal team. Legal team saw billable hours and in turn sent off an S&D to ThinkGeek. Clinical, antiseptic, and simply a waste of everyone’s time except the legal guys. Oh. And that was OUR tax dollars that were used to make that process happen.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Pork! It’s gray when it’s cooked! So you won’t get trichinosis! That’s a food-borne parasite! Failure to treat can result in death!

Yay for Gray!

(actually, I recall that when pork is cooked to white it’s been turned into an inedible dry piece of compressed sawdust…yes, I’m looking at you, Grandma)

IYB says:


The NPB is somewhat notorious for defending the “the other white meat” trademark, but even its high priced lawyers must know that there’s no likelihood of confusion here, and the parody defense would likely win out.

But those same lawyers likely told them that they need to take this action and then laughed behind their backs all the way to the bank (followed by another notch on their sucker belts).

fairuse (profile) says:

The PDF Press Release is up

Says ThinkGeek; [Text no links but PDF link is ]
“UPDATE 6/21 2:50p ET: Due to popular request, and after some interest on
the intarwebz, you can now download our original press release [PDF]. It was
unfortunately rejected by the newswires so you won’t find it elsewhere–
kinda like unicorn meat.”

Lawyers + April 1st = 1/0

Anonymous Coward says:

This made me laugh. Being in the UK I’d never heard that advertising slogan before. TBH, if they are stupid enough to have such a shit slogan it really shouldn’t be surprising when they send C&D letters to proprietors of ‘Unicorn meat’.

I have never seen white pork in my life. Chicken breast can be described as white meat but the only real white meat is white fish, surely?


Carolyn Street says:

Pork is not white meat! Unicorn is more white meat than pork is!

I would love to do a class action suit against the Pork Board for their “Pork, The Other White Meat” ad campaign which is a deliberate attempt to mislead consumers who were told by their doctors to cut down on red meat, which is pork and beef, as opposed to white meat, which is fish and chicken.

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