3 Silly Years Later, Chik-Fil-A Loses Trademark Dispute Over Kale
from the eat-more-crow dept
A long time ago, in a Techdirt far, far away…well, okay, it was only three years ago and it was right here at the same Techdirt, but Mike wrote about Chik-Fil-A, known purveyors of de-feathered chicken bits, opposing a trademark registration by an artist in Vermont for “Eat more kale.” Why a company that sells dead fowl thought it had an issue of customer confusion on its hands over some t-shirts that suggest people consume more tasteless leaves is beyond me, but it happened. And, now, three damned years later, the legal battle is over and kale has defeated chickens.
Bo Muller-Moore said Thursday that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted his application to trademark “eat more kale,” a phrase he says promotes local agriculture. He silk-screens the phrase on T-shirts and sweatshirts and prints them on bumper stickers that are common in Vermont and beyond.
When asked what he felt caused the trademark office to approve his application, Muller-Moore, of Montpelier, said, “Your guess is as good as mine.” The news was posted on the office’s website Tuesday. “I’d like to think that maybe some persistence and polite defiance, you know, and proving to them that we were in it for the long haul,” he said. “If it took us a decade, we’re going to fight for a decade.”
Instead, it only took a 3rd of a decade, which sounds better, but renders me to the exact same frustrating question of what the hell? Chicken is meat and kale isn’t. Anyone confused by the concepts of chicken and kale is not a moron in a hurry, they’re criminally insane. For it to take years to resolve this is absolutely asinine. It’s quite nice to hear that Muller-Moore was willing to stand on principle rather than cave to the demands of a corporate entity, but come on, this can’t be what the framers of trademark law had in mind.
“In our case, we said we’re not going to cease and desist until a federal judge tells us to and as far as the trademark goes, I never wavered from the idea that I deserved protection from copycat artists,” Muller-Moore said.
Easy, champ, we were just starting to like you. One wonders how much money was spent on the legal process to get us to a 3-year-conclusion that kale and chicken are significantly different?