by Mike Masnick
Mon, Apr 25th 2011 8:12am
I haven't had Kraft Mac & Cheese since I was a kid, and had no idea it went under different names in different countries. Apparently, up in Canada, it's called the Kraft Dinner or KD for short, where it's apparently even more iconic than in the US (where it's still pretty iconic). Either way, Kraft is upset. That's because a cooking instructor in Calgary, who had set up a free cooking class for students called "Kick the KD," is apparently violating its trademarks (via Rob Hyndman) -- and, yes, the company trademarked "KD." I don't know how different trademark law in Canada is compared to the US, but this seems like a pretty specious claim. First of all, there's no use in commerce. It's a free cooking-class put on by a non-profit. Second, there's no likelihood of confusion going on here, because it's not like anyone hearing about the Kick the KD is going to think it's associated with or sponsored by Kraft when the whole point is to get people to think about actually cooking their meals, rather than just breaking out a box of "KD" (I'm picking up the lingo). Now, of course, you can understand why it might upset Kraft that there's a class being taught to students about how to cook beyond the near instant simplicity of its Mac & Cheese, but that doesn't make it a trademark violation. Still, the class's instructor doesn't want to fight Kraft, so he's changing the name. Trademark bullies chalk up another win.
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