The idea of protecting one’s trademark has merit, provided the trademark in question is actually in danger of being diluted. It’s understandable that Nike would want to stop another shoe company from selling cheaper shoes with a Swoosh logo on it, but sometimes, companies overstep their boundaries and make fools of themselves, much like Chick-Fil-A is currently doing.
What we here is the case of Bo, who sells “Eat More Kale” t-shirts from his home in Vermont. Apparently, the folks who manage Chick-Fil-A’s trademark, Bo’s t-shirts are threatening the sanctity of the company’s “Eat Mor Chikin” slogan, and so, Chick-Fil-A as demanded that Bo shut down his website. Not only that, but they’ve demanded that he turn it over to the company. Thankfully, Bo is standing his ground, and has even taken to Kickstarter to fund a documentary about his particular tale of woe, thanks to the meddling ways of Chick-Fil-A.
Cease and desist?? Like hell. I’ve decided to fight.
Of course, I might not win — the odds are against me. All over the country ‘trademark bullies,’ large corporations that bully small businesses over alleged claims of trademark infringement, are legally harassing small businesses and wearing them down with repeated lawsuits and appeals. In the face of overwhelming legal bills, most small businesses just give up.
This is more than just plain wrong: it’s un-American.
By helping make this documentary I want to shine a light on this issue, my battle, and other trademark bullies, too. If I win, it’s a great story; if I lose, it’s a sad story. Either way, Jim and I think it’s a story worth telling.
Trademark bullies is one of the more accurate descriptions, especially when you consider the abject lack of trademark dilution that’s actually going on. Does Chick-Fil-A actually believe people are going to confuse the two? Or is this another example of typical corporate arrogance?
If the company is really that ate up when someone uses begins a slogan with “eat more,” why haven’t they gone after these trademark infringers?
This writer is not the only to use silliness in response to Chick-Fil-A’s position:
On a more serious note, Bo also has a video up on Kickstarter, detailing his position:
Agreed with everything Bo said.
With that in mind, which side of the fence do you fall on? Is Chick-Fil-A overstepping their boundaries or is this the appropriate response from a multi-million dollar entity that won’t ever be confused for the vegetable kale?