>That is, until Muller-Moore filed for trademark protection in early 2011.
well that's pretty different than it sounded like based on reading the other HN comments.
they aren't going after him for using the phrase (they did try that in the past, but gave up), but for trying to trademark it!
If you are a party who may be damaged by issuance, you can challenge the registration before it issues.
EDIT: Actually, looking closer they aren't even opposing, the PTO issued the rejection directly, without any involvment from chick-fil-a at all. It never even made it to the opposition stage.
There are no filings or documents from chick-fil-a in here at all. The examiner apparently came up with the rejection reason on their own (any communications chick-fil-a had by phone with the examiner would have been on record and here as well)
It's even been through two examiners now.
That said, the current examiner's arguments seem like complete and total BS.
Double edit: I take it back, it looks like one of these actually is a notice of a letter of protest (december 22nd, 2011), which functions much like an opposition. However, only the outgoing notice that a letter of protest is filed is there, the actual letter of protest (received, december 2011), presumably from chick-fil-a, is for some reason, not in the documents.
Sorry, i'm much more used to reading patent dockets than trademark ones :)
Which, given that they'd stopped after 2006, does make it look rather like a don't-poke-the-bear thing regarding his own filing for trademark protection after Chick-Fil-A had initially dropped it.
Regardless of the status of the trademark application, I'd also be curious as to whether a copyright claim could have legs. If a t-shirt design is copied verbatim, you might not need trademark protection; copyright could be sufficient.
Additionally, unless the slogan is in itself inherently distinctive and qualifies as a mark in itself, the USPTO requires that the slogan be identified with the product or service so that the consuming public, upon hearing the slogan, relates it to the particular product or service. This requirement means that the slogan has developed what the law refers to as a “secondary meaning.” The best examples of this type of slogan are “Just Do It” (Nike) and “Finger Lickin’ Good (KFC).
This is not true.
With good quality hand made smoked sausage it's one of my favourite meals.
For anyone interested:
And next you're having boerenkool with some IT types, tell them how UNOX is the worst operating system.
For Americans - the difference is the same as between the processed cheese you get on a burger and real cheese..
In fact if there had been a trademark on "eat more corn, oats, and rye" which I highly doubt there was, it has likely fallen out of use. You can trademark old marks that have not been in use for a while. I met a local trademark attorney that did just this with an old beer brand, that he is now selling a craft beer under.
Personally I think he was lucky to have gotten Chik-Fil-A off of his back in 2006 because the slogan similarities are stunning, but then again I've actually seen Chik-Fil-A advertising for years before this.
But I'm very surprised that, given the integral nature of the misspellings (the cows did not get a great education) in the Chick-Fil-A version, this could be seen as infringing.
I don't remember when, specifically, that it started--but I do remember it was the early-to-mid-90s.
I hadn't heard of the slogan, and 'Eat More Kale' just sounded like it was playing off the pro-Kale zeitgeist of our times.
Both vegetarian and paleo diet eaters love Kale (to use two opposite diets as examples), and it's all the rage in trendy urban areas.
EDIT: I think this may be explained by my being from the south and your being from Canada...
It's not surprising to me in the slightest that somebody from Vermont, like the Eat More Kale guy, had simply never heard the slogan. Most people in New England have never heard of Waffle House either.
But what I really meant is that 'Eat More X' is so generic and easy to come up with that it's not surprising if it occurs to someone independently. For example, 'Eat More Bacon' would make for a good paleo diet T-Shirt.
From what I've read, the chik-fil-a slogan was quite clever and depended on the spelling and context. Simply saying 'Eat More...' on the other hand, is something we all say quite frequently. "Eat more vegetables!"
A friend who lives in my neighborhood commented that they've seen three 'I love Kale' bumper stickers. It's quite a popular vegetable these days, especially among those too young to remember the 'eet moar chikin' campaign.
Couldn't it just be classified as a parody? It seems silly to not allow them to use something because it's similar.