-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
Bo Muller-Moore, a folk artist from Montpelier, Vermont, decided to print up some T-shirts for friends that own a local farm. The slogan that was chosen was “Eat More Kale.” That phrase doesn’t sit too well with Chick-fil-A, whose lawyer claims “is likely to cause confusion of the public and dilutes the distinctiveness of Chick-fil-A’s intellectual property and diminishes its value.”
Muller-Moore prints the “eat more kale” T-shirts in his studio/garage and sells them world wide. As his business grew, he filed an application to trademark the “eat more kale” phrase with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. His application is pending.
Muller-Moore has enlisted help of a Montpelier lawyer and the University of New Hampshire School of Law’s Intellectual Property and Transaction Clinic. Professor Oliver Goodenough, of the Vermont Law School, whose expertise includes intellectual property and copyright law, said there was little likelihood consumers would confuse kale with chicken.
Although Muller-Moore is determined to fight big chickin, Chick-fil-A, in a cease-and-desist letter, listed 30 examples of others who tried to co-opt the “eat more” phrase and later decided to withdraw. Chick-fil-A is insisting that Muller-Moore stop using the “eat more kale” phrase and turn over his website, eatmorekale.com, to Chick-fil-A.
Apart from the atrocious spelling, I’ve always considered the “eat mor chickin” campaign a little strange. It’s a campaign that promotes the consumption of chicken in general and not Chick-fil-A chicken in particular. Other chicken franchises, such as KFC and Church’s, also benefit from the campaign.
The “eat mor chickin” advertisements were suspended during the mad cow disease scare of late 2003/early 2004.
Muller-Moore’s chickens have come home to roost. Chick-fil-A has company lawyers and plenty of capital to pursue this issue till the cows come home.