This Bo might not have won the Heisman Trophy, he might not have played in the NFL or MLB, he might not have enjoyed a lucrative Nike endorsement deal, and he might not have been named ESPN’s greatest athlete of all time, but this Bo — the defiant Vermonter, a/k/a Bo Muller-Moore, knows how to defend his “Eat More Kale” trademark and turn a trademark bully into fried chicken:
As you know, we have been following very closely — and very critically — for more than three years now, Chick-fil-A’s efforts to prevent registration of Bo’s EAT MORE KALE trademark, based on Chick-fil-A’s federally-registered rights in the EAT MOR CHIKIN fast-food slogan:
- Eat More Anything? (November 28,2011)
- New York Times Covers “Eat More Kale” Trademark Dispute (December 5, 2011)
- Chick-fil-A Goes Stealth in “Eat More Kale” Trademark Dispute? (March 5, 2012)
- Chick-fil-A’s “Eat More” Stealth USPTO Trademark Enforcement Strategy Succeeds (April 16, 2012)
- Chick-fil-A’s Successful “Eat Mor Chikin” v. “Eat More Kale” USPTO Letter of Protest (June 21, 2012)
- Chick-fil-A to Land in Trademark Bully Court? (June 27, 2013)
- What Impact Can Social Media Have on a Trademark Dispute? (December 19, 2013)
- Eat More Walleye? (May 5, 2014)
- Will Chick-fil-A, uh Chicken Out? (September 9, 2014)
This dispute really became for me the poster-child example of trademark bullying, and keep in mind, I frequently report on media allegations of trademark bullying, but I have rarely agreed with the pejorative label, for a variety of reasons.
So, Bo, hearty congratulations to you!
What do you suppose was the deciding factor in Chick-fil-A chickening out and deciding not to pursue the filing of a formal Notice of Opposition with the USPTO? Was it, Governor Peter Shumlin’s support? Your able pro-bono legal team? Your successful Kickstarter campaign? Your deft use of the social media shame-wagon? The USPTO finally seeing clearly? Or perhaps the persistently persuasive DuetsBlog coverage?
Or, will we need to await completion of the promised documentary film, to know from Bo?
Either way, Chick-fil-A finally appears to have found a sense of humor, sending this email in response to a Huffington Post inquiry: “Cows love kale too!”
Let’s hope the cows have learned a lesson about straying past the trademark fence on the farm!