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.
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:
- The piece of intellectual property in question is the sentence, “Eat more kale.”
- The existing corporate slogan in conflict with said sentence is, “Eat mor chikin.”
- “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.'”
- Two people were fighting over exclusive rights to the imperative sentence structure, “Eat more ______.”
- 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.”