Faegre & Benson, Food, Intellectual Property, Pranks, Ridiculousness, Trademarks

Misadventures in Trademark Law: Faegre & Benson Helps Pigs Fight Unicorns

No, this isn’t about a lawsuit arising out of the writing of Animal Farm II: Sharks on Retainer — but who knows, my original thought for a post title might be subject to trademark infringement.

More on that later; for now, let’s turn our attention to this delicious product offered by ThinkGeek (which went on sale April 1, 2010):

As a connoisseur of unicorn delicacies, I was annoyed when the ThinkGeek people exposed this product to the general pubic. We’ve already got the Care Bears on our ass; we certainly don’t need PETA getting wind of this tasty treat.

But who knew that this entirely fictional April Fool’s joke would come to the attention of the National Pork Board and their legal representatives at Faegre & Benson

ThinkGeek reports that they received a cease-and-desist letter from attorneys at Faegre & Benson. They only produced one page of Faegre’s letter, but you’ll get the gist:

See, I was going to lead with “Unicorn, It’s What’s for Dinner,” but I really can’t afford to piss off the beef people. Without the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, I’d starve to death — or have to eat a vegetable.

It is a wonder that the pork people had no sense of humor about this joke. But it’s also surprising that the lawyers at Faegre were seemingly unable to explain what “clear parody” is to their clients. Even the guys at Thinkgeek have heard of it:

Luckily, the Sisters at Radiant Farms, where the unicorns are nursed through old age before being slaughtered, canned, and brought to market at ThinkGeek, have nothing to worry about — this kind of use is protected as a parody. (We’re hoping the NPB doesn’t tell the Sisters that unicorns don’t actually exist; it’d break their little sparkly hearts.)

We reached out to Faegre, but the firm has not responded to our request for comment.

Really, I think this is all a devilish plot hatched by the pigs to drive out the Unicorns. Faegre & Benson better be careful; nobody actually likes Squealer.

Officially Our Best-Ever Cease And Desist [ThinkGeek]
Canned Unicorn Meat [ThinkGeek]

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