« Bruce Bartlett on Increasing Taxes on the Wealthy | Main | Elizabeth Renuart Article on Ibanez »

Tuesday, December 06, 2011



Yeah, I'm getting chills thinking there might be another budding "Warning" litigator out there. There's some guy who sues anyone who puts the words "Warning" on a t-shirt (in any context) because he did it first.

Diane Blackman

I don't see how the phrase "Eat More Kale" can be registered as a trademark in the context of a phrase on a T-shirt. The maker of the actual shirt is a different party entirely. The only "property" or "product" of the person applying for the trademark is the phrase as it is printed on the shirt. Which would make the phrase generic to the product - wouldn't it? The trademark is supposed to identify the maker of a product, it can't BE the product? I wouldn't have a problem with registering the phrase in the context of ... say a vegan restaurant. In this instance I'm not seeing a valid mark. And as for the chicken folks - well their actions purely comes out of the nether end of the chickens. It is an insane objection that should itself be actionable.

Steve Rhode

"Pox on both your houses." LOL

Eric Goldman

Well said, Paul. The phrase "Eat More [Type of Food]" is free for everyone to use, so fie on anyone who tries to use trademark law to propertize it.

Michael J. Wood

Mr. Levy,

I believe you are conflating two issues: abusive trademark defense and federal trademark law itself. Large companies, as you point out, "trot out the old war horse defense" that they are required to defend their trademark, when in reality they are more often silencing dissent or bullying small businesses. That is what is going on here whether or not Mr. Muller-Moore files his application. And it is troubling.

Regarding the filing itself, I'm not familiar enough with trademark law to know if Mr. Muller-Moore is improperly trying to trademark something. Whether he is or is not, he should be held to the same standard as any organization that applies for a trademark. If it is improper, it will be denied. If not, I suppose it will be granted.

Either way, I don't believe the pox's are equal here and in presenting them as a (false) equivalency, you are detracting from the much more troubling issue of corporate gagging.

The comments to this entry are closed.