Chick-Fil-A Sues Vermont Entrepreneur for Trademark Infringement
Orange County – A Vermont artist/entrepreneur who is building his business around the slogan “Eat More Kale” is being sued for trademark infringement by Chick- Fil-A. The fast food chain alleges that Bo Muller-Moore’s kale slogan is strikingly similar to its “Eat mor chikin” trademarked phrase.
Muller-Moore originally began printing the “Eat More Kale” slogan on T-shirts when his kale farming friend asked that he make $10.00 T-shirts for family and friends. The slogan and shirts became so popular with locals in Vermont, that Muller-Moore expanded his silkscreen business to include bumper stickers and other apparel items and sold them on the Internet.
In a letter to the judge, an attorney for Chick-Fil-A claims that the “Eat More Kale” slogan is confusingly similar to the restaurant chain’s “Eat Mor Chikin” trademark and that it “dilutes the distinctiveness of Chick-Fil-A’s intellectual property and diminishes its value.”
The chicken chain’s trademark is depicted by a poor-spelling cow that is holding hoof-painted signs reading “Eat Mor Chikin.” The idea is that it is a chicken-only restaurant, and the cow wants to get the message across to eat chicken and not beef.
Apparently, five years ago, Chick-Fil-A, which has owned its trademark for years, sent a cease and desist letter to Muller-Moore, warning him to stop using his slogan. Eventually, the Georgia-based fast food chain quietly let the matter drop, which according to Muller-Moore, was a green light for him to register his trademark. Chick Fil A became aware of his intentions once more when he attempted to trademark the phrase last summer.
Now, a lawsuit is ensuing and Chick-Fil-A is determined to get the message across about protecting its intellectual property. The most recent cease and desist letter to Muller-Moore lists about thirty examples of attempts by other entities to use the “eat more” phrase that were withdrawn after Chick-Fil-A flexed its legal muscles.
However, Muller-Moore, 38, of Montpelier, Vermont, is not showing any signs of abandoning his slogan. In a statement, he said, “Our plan is to not back down. This feels like David versus Goliath. I know what it’s like to protect what’s yours in business,” he added.
Posted in: Trademark Infringement