Trademark Dispute Pits 'Chikin' Against Kale

Nov 29, 2011 - LegalZoom News Sources
Fast-food chicken restaurant Chick-fil-A has threatened to sue a Vermont man for trademark infringement.

Chick-fil-A, the fast-food chain that has been using the slogan "Eat Mor Chikin" since 1995, recently threatened legal action against 39-year-old Bo Muller-Moore of Vermont, alleging that Moore's hand-printed tee-shirts featuring the phrase "Eat More Kale" constitute trademark infringement.

In October, Muller-Moore's attorney received a letter from Chick-fil-A, stating that the restaurant had become aware of Muller-Moore's pending trademark application for the "Eat More Kale" phrase and warning that it considered the phrase trademark infringement, the Burlington Free Press reported. The letter requested that Muller-Moore withdraw his application and abandon plans to create a line of products marked with the "Eat More Kale" phrase.

Speaking to the Free Press, Muller-Moore described Chick-fil-A's approach as "a clear case of corporate bullying." A response letter to Chick-fil-A argued that consumers will almost certainly not confuse the phrase "Eat More Kale" with "Eat Mor Chikin," and pointed out Muller-Moore's phrase is not associated with cows, which convey the Chick-fil-A slogan in the restaurant's advertisements.

In another case of an independent businessperson facing off with a powerful restaurant chain over an intellectual property matter, McDonald's contacted the owner of Houston eatery Jus' Mac, contesting the owner's trademark application on the "Jus' Mac" name and saying it infringed on McDonald's use of the word "mac" on its menu and in its marketing.