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NOT INTENDED TO BE LEGAL ADVICE.
As I was perusing the web today, getting ready to search for “Cyber Monday” deals, I ran into this article reporting that Chic-fil-A is suing a Vermont man for trademark infringement:
Chic-fil-A apparently has a registered trademark for: “Eat mor chikin.” Chic-fil-A ads use cows, who cannot spell, to promote this phrase and promote the consumption of chicken instead of beef. Funny, right? This man’s alleged infringing use? “Eat more Kale.” To the common consumer, they may look at this and think, “Really?” You know what, they are probably right!
The test for trademark infringement is whether there is a likely of confusion to the consumer. Said differently, is the consumer going to be confused as to the source of goods? Here, we have a man using “Eat more Kale” on t-shirts and sweaters to promote the benefits of local agriculture. He spells the sentence correctly and does not depict anything related to chicken, sandwiches, or Chic-fil-A. According to Chic-fil-A, “eat more” is their sole intellectual property and must be aggressively protected.
So, what do we really have here? Do we have blatant trademark infringement or use of a generic term, which does not deserve trademark protection? To me, as a humble observer, it seems like Chic-fil-A is using its extensive litigation budget to protect an interest in a trademark that probably wouldn’t receive protection in the courts. But that issue, and corporate bullying, is an entirely different blog post.
Welcome everyone to the Sherrer & Muhtaris, P.C. blog! We will be blogging about all sorts of topics related to intellectual property and other various legal trends. We hope that you will find our posts timely, informative, and hopefully entertaining! We look forward to sharing our views of the law and legal trends with you. If you have any comments or opinions, please feel free to post them. We look forward to hearing from you!
Konstantinos Muhtaris and Emily Sherrer