Jennifer Laycock Threatened With Lawsuit
Posted 01 February 2007 - 04:40 PM
Jen's breastfeeding website reports that the USA Pork industry has threatened her with a lawsuit because she used the slogan "the other white milk" on a t-shirt promoting breastfeeding awareness.
The money she generates from her t-shirts go towards a breastmilk bank (where it can be stored and used by babies who need it, have mom's who can't nurse, etc.)
So far, that particular t-shirt earned $8
And she was ordered to remove it for a trademark violation?
Overzealous Big Pork Stomps on Breastfeeding Blogger
Blogging Mom Threatened by the Pork Industry over T-shirt Slogan
What is going on here?
Posted 01 February 2007 - 05:06 PM
Posted 01 February 2007 - 05:16 PM
I simply can't see the connection between breast milk and pigs, pigs have only ever made me think of bacon butties
I wish Jennifer all the breast in her fight if she decides to go ahead.
Posted 01 February 2007 - 05:45 PM
Here's the latest filing from the Pork folks on the trademark:
Word Mark THE OTHER WHITE MEAT
Goods and Services IC 016. US 002 005 022 023 029 037 038 050. G & S: COOKBOOKS, BROCHURES ABOUT PORK, PENS, PENCILS, CRAYONS, BUMPERSTICKERS, AND STICKERS. FIRST USE: 19970000.
FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19970000
IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: SHIRTS, T-SHIRTS, SWEATSHIRTS, APRONS, JACKETS, AND HATS. FIRST USE: 19970000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19970000
IC 043. US 100 101. G & S: PROVIDING AN INTERNET WEB SITE FEATURING FOOD PREPARATION/COOKING INFORMATION REGARDING PORK AND ACCOMPANYING RECIPES. FIRST USE: 20000600. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20000600
Standard Characters Claimed
Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
Design Search Code
Serial Number 78648718
Filing Date June 10, 2005
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition May 23, 2006
Registration Number 3129186
Registration Date August 15, 2006
Owner (REGISTRANT) National Pork Producers Council CORPORATION IOWA 10664 Justin Drive Urbandale IOWA 50322
(LAST LISTED OWNER) NATIONAL PORK BOARD BOARD CREATED UNDER A FEDERAL STATUTE UNITED STATES 1776 N.W. 114th Street Clive IOWA 50325
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Attorney of Record David W. Grace
Prior Registrations 1486548
Type of Mark TRADEMARK. SERVICE MARK
There are two other variations of that which are listed as live over at the USPTO. This one does include use of the phrase on tshirts and other clothes. But the phrase is "the other white meat" and not "the other white milk."
This appears to be a non-competing, non-commercial use of a phrase that is similar to the trademark, which might be a defense in many cases, though Courts might ignore those criteria for especially famous trademarks.
She should talk to a lawyer before doing too much more. Who knows, but the best step might be to trademark the phrase "the other white milk."
Posted 01 February 2007 - 06:08 PM
What boils me is how the Pork industry handled this matter by being a bully to a small-time operation, over a shirt that up until now, hardly anyone had even heard of.
Like where in the heck is Jen supposed to get the money to defend herself? She really had no choices here, in my mind, but to sit down, shut up and obey.
Posted 01 February 2007 - 06:10 PM
I can't see how she is copyright infringing on their slogan. "the other white milk" isn't their slogan...which makes me think they have a different reason behind it. But then again if a lawyer is involved somewhere it could be for a couple of wild reasons.
A lot of big bully type companies do that.
Is it standard procedure to send letters making demands and threatening lawsuits, or is there such a thing as having a civil discussion first?
Edited by test-ok, 01 February 2007 - 06:12 PM.
Posted 01 February 2007 - 06:29 PM
Posted 01 February 2007 - 06:40 PM
Posted 01 February 2007 - 06:41 PM
I don't think that the lawsuit has any feet - but as you said, how on earth can Jennifer afford to defend herself?
I haven't got any serious problems about lawsuits with grounds - but this just doesn't cut it.
Posted 01 February 2007 - 06:59 PM
That means that complaints to our representatives in Washington, DC, may have some effect on this.
It's worth firing a few letters off to those folks.
The sale of the trademark to the National Pork Board last year appears to be kind of shady, too.
I'd like to know more.
Posted 01 February 2007 - 07:03 PM
Posted 01 February 2007 - 07:15 PM
National Pork Board Goes After Breastfeeding Search Marketer
Frankly, the letter to Jennifer tarnishes the National Pork Board's reputation more than her T-shirts could possibly have done.
To contact the Pork Industry, use this form
I just did
Posted 01 February 2007 - 07:21 PM
Posted 01 February 2007 - 07:50 PM
Posted 01 February 2007 - 09:45 PM
Posted 01 February 2007 - 10:02 PM
I don't see how this can hold up. Their trademark references meat, not milk, and Jennifer's use of it can hardly be confusing to anyone.
Posted 01 February 2007 - 10:04 PM
Posted 01 February 2007 - 10:17 PM
"In addition, your use of this slogan also tarnishes the good reputation of the National Pork Board's mark in light of your apparent attempt to promote the use of breastmilk beyond merely for infant consumption, such as with the following slogans on your website in close proximity to the slogan "The Other White Milk." "Dairy Diva," "Nursing, Nature's Own Breast Enhancement," "Eat at Mom's, fast-fresh-from the breast," and "My Milk is the Breast."
Go back and read that again. "apparent attempt to promote the use of breastmilk beyond merely for infant consumption."
Do they think I'm trying to an promote an adult breastfeeding fetish??!
As in, somebody at the Pork place has some breast issues
Lawyers are paid a lot of money. Sadly, that apparently doesn't allow time for actual research before sending the cannons.
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