San Diego – Two years ago, Brain Mastrosimone bought 70 acres of land along Canadaigua Lake in New York. Canadaigua Lake is just one of many lakes in upstate New York collectively known as the Finger Lakes. Mastrosimone’s plan is to develop the property with a little bit of every type of business he can think of. His plans for development include a brew hub, pavilion, and even a sunflower patch. He has even developed a slogan for the family owned business, “Finger Lakin’ Good.”
National fast food chain, KFC Corporation, does not appreciate the new slogan. KFC is suing Mastrosimone for alleged trademark infringement of its famous Finger Lickin’ Good slogan. According to a spokesperson for KFC, “’Finger Lickin’ Good’ is one of KFC’s oldest and most important trademarks.” KFC, which initially filed for trademark protection of its “Finger Lickin’ Good” slogan in the 1960s, claims that the Mastrosimone’s slogan is too similar. KFC is claiming that it draws a false connection between the two companies that may confuse consumers. Furthermore, KFC claims that Mastrosimone is preying on the good will developed by KFC over the years, and his use of their slogan could damage the company. The concern is that consumers could think that the products and services offered by Mastrosimone are associated or endorsed in some way by KFC.
Mastrosimone does not feel that he is in any way infringing on KFC’s company or branding. He says his logo in no way looks like that of KFC’s. He says he is not promoting fried chicken or a fast food chain and that the slogan is not intended to connect itself to the fast food chain. Instead, he says it is a clever play on words connecting his property to the nearby popular lakes.
Mastrosimone’s trademark lawyers are encouraging him to change his tag line even though his trademark applications have been approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Mastrosimone apparently does not have the money to fight KFC in court and has claimed that this is just bullying by a large corporation. Mastrosimone is looking to his community to help fund his defense. He is selling T-shirts and has started a GoFundMe campaign to try to raise money to offset legal fees.