Olive Garden Apologizes To Allofgarden.com, Blames IP Enforcement Bot For Legal Threat
from the mea-cappelini dept
You will hopefully recall the recent story we did on Darden, parent company of the Olive Garden restaurant chain, sending a legal threat letter to the man behind allofgarden.com, a site that reviews Olive Garden dishes, because the internet is a strange, strange place. At issues, according to the threat letter, was that allofgarden.com named Olive Garden in metatags in its reviews of the dishes, which you should already know is nothing remotely resembling trademark infringement or infringement upon any other types of intellectual property, either. With that in mind, Vincent Malone replied to the threat letter in a manner both well-informed of his own rights and one which demonstrated just how funny Malone is. After refusing to comply with the requests in the letter, he demanded a reply within nine days in limerick form.
His demands were not met exactly, but Darden has now responded to Malone, apologizing for the letter, promising no further action would be taken against him, blaming an IP enforcement bot for the letter, and sending him a $50 gift card. Sadly, none of this was delivered in the limerick form Malone had requested.
As apologies for this sort of thing go, this one is pretty good. It was apparently in further conversations outside of this letter that Malone was told of the bot, which may well be true but only demonstrates that too many companies play loose with the way they seek to enforce their rights. This story ends on a positive note only because Malone decided not to immediately back down out of fear of a much larger company, after all. It doesn’t take too much imagination to suppose that there could be, or perhaps have been, instances we don’t know about in which sites simply comply with these unreasonable demands instead of seeking limerick apologies as Malone had.
But if you thought I was going to leave you having read this post without a limerick to read, I can allay those concerns, as Malone himself decided to inform his readers of all of this in poetic form.
As of six thirty-five in the PMs
I’ve wrapped up my talks with the chieftains
They were misconstrued;
I’m not getting sued
And I needn’t write out any ™s
Yes! An official who represents Darden
Has granted me a total pardon
We’ve reached resolution
I received absolution
For daring to print “olive garden”
The source of the problem was sought
And the sender-offender was caught!
That e-mail was provided
(If you wonder [as I did])
by a prodigious, litigious spam-bot.
My sole issue with Legal’s retort
Was the prose of their written report
The demand was specific:
a reply via lim’rick
Well. At least I’m not going to court.