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Pork Board Sends Epic C&D Letter Over Unicorn Meat Joke

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Pork Board Sends Epic C&D Letter Over Unicorn Meat Joke

Postby StlSluggers » Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:37 pm

ThinkGeek wrote:Recently we got the best-ever cease and desist letter. We're no stranger to the genre, so what could possibly make this one stand out from the rest?

First, it's 12 pages long and very well-researched (except on one point); it even includes screengrabs of the offending item from our site. And we know they're not messing around because they invested in the best and brightest legal minds.

But what makes this cease and desist so very, very special is that it's for a fake product we launched for April Fool's day.

It wasn't the iCade, or the Dharma Initiative Clock, or even the Tribbles 'n' Bits Breakfast Cereal.

No, it was the Canned Unicorn Meat.

Original ad:

Image

First page of the C&D:

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Re: Pork Board Sends Epic C&D Letter Over Unicorn Meat Joke

Postby Metroid » Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:44 pm

sure they're using a copyrighted slogan to promote a fake product, but can they really be sued over it? :-S
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Re: Pork Board Sends Epic C&D Letter Over Unicorn Meat Joke

Postby RedHopeful » Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:53 pm

Metroid wrote:sure they're using a copyrighted slogan to promote a fake product, but can they really be sued over it? :-S

Yeah, trademark law doesn't care whether it pertains to something as factitious as unicorns. Goes to show pork people simply have no humor. Or the lawfirm representing the Nat'l Pork Board are hurting for billable hours. :-b
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Re: Pork Board Sends Epic C&D Letter Over Unicorn Meat Joke

Postby knapplc » Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:03 pm

Aren't they protected by satire?
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Re: Pork Board Sends Epic C&D Letter Over Unicorn Meat Joke

Postby Metroid » Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:10 pm

knapplc wrote:Aren't they protected by satire?

Yeah that's what I was thinking. This is no different than some of the spoofs SNL does, or the satire Cracked or Mad magazine puts out regularly. As long as they're not actually selling a product or promoting their website with the slogan, I don't see the problem. :-?
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Re: Pork Board Sends Epic C&D Letter Over Unicorn Meat Joke

Postby Mookie4ever » Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:21 pm

If you do not take steps to protect your trademarks you can lose them.
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Re: Pork Board Sends Epic C&D Letter Over Unicorn Meat Joke

Postby Dan Lambskin » Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:27 pm

they should have some fun with this and call it The Other White-ish Meat or La Otra Carne Blanca
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Re: Pork Board Sends Epic C&D Letter Over Unicorn Meat Joke

Postby urbanbreez » Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:28 pm

knapplc wrote:Aren't they protected by satire?

Why yes, as a matter of fact, they are. But I think parody is a better defense.
[url]
http://www.fbm.com/docs/speaking_engage ... cument.pdf[/url]
3. “Parody” / “Satire” Distinction:
a. After concluding that parody could be considered fair use, the
Court qualified its holding: if the new work “has no critical
bearing on the substance or style of the original composition,
which the alleged infringer merely uses to get attention or to avoid
the drudgery in working up something fresh,” the work is less
transformative, and other fair use factors, such as whether the new
work was sold commercially, loom larger. Campbell, 510 U.S. at
580. The Court explained further that while a parody targets and
mimics the original work to make its point, a satire uses the work
to criticize something else, and therefore requires justification for
the very act of borrowing. See id. at 581. As a result, the Court
appears to favor parody
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Re: Pork Board Sends Epic C&D Letter Over Unicorn Meat Joke

Postby StlSluggers » Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:51 pm

knapplc wrote:Aren't they protected by satire?

They state on the linked page that they are protected by parody.
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Re: Pork Board Sends Epic C&D Letter Over Unicorn Meat Joke

Postby knapplc » Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:32 pm

Parody/Satire, potayto/potahto.
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