In December 2011, here on the blog we talked about Bo Muller-Moore’s “Eat More Kale” t-shirts, which got the lawyers at Chick-fil-A squawking about a potential trademark infringement of the company’s slogan, “Eat Mor Chikin.”
Bo Muller-Moore of Vermont thinks everyone should eat more kale, so he started EatMoreKale.com and printed up some t-shirts in his garage expressing that sentiment. But certain fast food executives in Atlanta aren’t feeling the kale love. Chick-fil-A has sent Muller-Moore’s pro bono attorney a cease and desist letter, claiming that the “Eat more kale” phrase infringes on its trademarked slogan “Eat Mor Chikin.”
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The letter from Chick-Fil-A avers that “Eat More Kale” “plays off of and imitates Chick-fil-A’s valuable EAT MOR CHIKIN Intellectual Property by using a prefix confusingly similar to Chick-fil-A’s federally registered EAT MOR CHIKIN trademarks” and that the “misappropriation of Chick-fil-A’s EAT MOR CHIKIN Intellectual Property, to play off of and benefit from the extraordinary fame and goodwill of Chick-fil-A’s trademarks, copyrights, and popular promotional campaign, is likely to cause confusion of the public and dilutes the distinctiveness of Chick-fil-A’s intellectual property and diminishes its value.”
Well, this past week the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office gave some credence to Chick-fil-A’s claims when it issued a preliminary denial of Muller-Moore’s trademark application for “Eat More Kale.”
The USPTO ruled that the kale-based slogan is too similar to “Eat mor chikin,” namely that “the marks urge action in the same way, only as to different substances, and both of them are commonly consumed types of food.
Muller-Moore has six months to respond, but for now he has commented publicly that, to him, “[the trademark process] seems designed to favor corporations and just roll over mom-and-pops.”
What do you think of the “Eat More Kale” trademark? Should it be granted or is it too similar to “Eat Mor Chikin?”