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Per the Burlington Free Press:

At the center of the campaign, Reggy explains, is Chick-fil-A's intellectual property, the phrase "EAT MOR CHIKIN." The company has used the phrase since at least 1995, Reggy writes, and owns numerous U.S. and international trademark and copyright registrations for both EAT MOR CHIKIN and for cows holding sandwich-boards reading EAT MOR CHIKIN.

Now to the crux of the matter. It has come to the attention of Chick-fil-A, Reggy writes, that Richardson's client filed an application Aug. 31 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a U.S. patent on the phrase, "Eat More Kale," for use on stickers, bags, sweatshirts, onesies for infants and toddlers, T-shirts, dresses, skirts, blouses, turtlenecks and yoga shirts.

Yes.  You read that correctly.  Chick-fil-A is going after a local Vermonter for hand producing pro-kale merchandise because they own the trademark for a pro-chicken message.  

It occurs to me at this point that some companies have too many lawyers and not enough good sense.

There is a petition you can sign to oppose Chick-Fil-A's actions in this case.  As the petition site notes:

Vermont's EAT MORE KALE is a small, eco-friendly t-shirt business with a mission to promote sustainable food messages. The company's sole proprietor, Bo Muller-Moore, has used the EAT MORE KALE logo in his t-shirt designs for more than 10 years, and he recently applied for a federal trademark on his business name. A federal trademark would block other artists from copying his design (which has happened in the past) and protect the livelihood he's worked so hard to build.

But if Chick-fil-A, a multi-million dollar fast food company, has its way, Muller-Moore won't be able to protect his business. The Corporate Goliath has threatened to block EAT MORE KALE's trademark attempt and shut the business down. Chick-fil-A uses the slogan "Eat Mor Chikin,"and it alleges that EAT MORE KALE confuses CHICK-FIL-A customers and dilutes its multi-million dollar industry.

A point of fairness: it is difficult to evaluate this without a comparison between the two slogans and their design.  Chick-Fil-A has a very nicely designed gallery with a bunch of their EAT MOR CHICKN slogans that you can view here.  Eat More Kale also has its own website, which has lots of images of the logos.  You can also buy t-shirts, hoodies, stickers, etc. from there if you'd like to support Bo's business while it's being attacked from all sides.

And a point of open bias: Chick-Fil-A is also known for its major contributions to anti-gay organizations.  That's not relevant to this specific case, but it is relevant to my own bias in writing about this subject.  This is a company I dislike intensely, and don't wish to pretend otherwise.  

6:39 PM PT: This made the rec list?  Cool :)

Originally posted to Where the Waters Run Free on Thu Nov 24, 2011 at 03:23 PM PST.

Also republished by These Green Mountains.

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