A small victory for sustainable food activism: A Vermont man and local agriculture advocate was able to defeat an intellectual property suit brought against him by a fast food chain.

In 2011, Bo Muller-Moore filed to trademark the sentence “Eat more kale,” which is emblazoned on a line of T-shirts, bumper stickers, and generally useless miscellany that he created. He immediately met with the wrath of fried poultry distributor Chick-Fil-A, which has bewilderingly found commercial success with its advertising slogan, “Eat mor chikin.” Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Muller-Moore the exclusive rights to his brassica-positive message.

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This is, in toto, a positive and heart-warming development! How great it is when a grassroots campaign espousing the virtue of locally grown produce wins out over the corporate incarnation of an enormous chicken sandwich! Let us, however, review the details:

  1. The piece of intellectual property in question is the sentence, “Eat more kale.”
  2. The existing corporate slogan in conflict with said sentence is, “Eat mor chikin.”
  3. “Eat mor chikin” is a — seemingly successful — advertising slogan for a company worth $5.5 billion. The rationale for using this slogan, per the Associated Press: “Chick-fil-A uses the phrase in images that include cows holding signs with the misspelled phrase ‘eat mor chikin’ because, as Chick-fil-A spokeswoman Carrie Kurlander put it, ‘when people eat chicken, they do not eat cows.'”
  4. Two people were fighting over exclusive rights to the imperative sentence structure, “Eat more ______.”
  5. This entire ordeal took three years. 1,095+ days.

Well. As the saying goes: “Don’t look a gift chicken in the beak, because you will invariably become depressed by the bureaucratic inanity of corporate America and the legal system.”

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