from the not-quite dept
We, along with a bunch of other sites, recently discussed the hilarious situation where the National Pork Board sent a 12 page cease-and-desist letter to ThinkGeek for its April Fool’s joke about “unicorn meat,” which it jokingly called “the new white meat” (not even “the other white meat” — which is the National Pork Board’s soon to be changed trademarked slogan). Se7ensamurai writes in to point out the National Pork Board is now defending its decision to send the letter, saying:
“We certainly understand that unicorns don’t exist,” said Ceci Snyder, vice president of marketing for the National Pork Board. “Yes, it’s funny. But if you don’t respond, you are opening your trademark up to challenges.”
Except, that’s not true, and you would think the NPB’s trademark lawyers would point that out. Over aggressive trademark defenders often make statements like the one above about how they “have” to defend their trademark or they risk losing it. But that’s only in cases where the mark is actually likely to cause confusion or is not used in a manner that is clearly fair use (such as a parody, as in this case). So, like unicorns, the NPB’s claim that they had to send this cease-and-desist is nothing more than a myth.