I don’t know about you but I still have a lot of turkey left over.
Different turkey here so I hope you stopped by for something other than the recipes.
Bo Muller-Moore is a folk artist in Montpelier, Vermont who made the national news today and not for his new spray paint/stencil prints at the Montpelier Art Walk. Those images at the Skinny Pancake honored some of the animals of Vermont and the cavemen that painted them first.
Mr. Muller-Moore has built a substantial home business around the words “eat more kale” which silkscreens on T- and sweatshirts. He calls it “an expression of the benefits of local agriculture.”
For the record, I put kale right up there with lima beans in the food pantheon but I will fight to the death your right to eat it. It is probably better for you than limas, too.
A couple of Mr. Muller-Moore’s friends, “Paul and Kate of High-Ledge Farm, penned the phrase over ten years ago when they special ordered two shirts for themselves. I must admit, I gave the design very little thought,” he wrote. “I drew the letters and cut the stencil in less than 20 minutes. I printed their shirts and delivered them at the next farmer’s market. The idea became ‘viral’ before people knew what ‘viral’ was, then quickly spread to all corners of the world.”
Meanwhile Chick-fil-A, the second-largest chicken restaurant chain in the country, owns and aggressively guards the trademarked phrase eat mor chikin. Chick-fil-A, the second-largest chicken restaurant chain in the country, sounds very Canadian to my ear, eh? I thought Canadians could spell, eh?
Mr. Muller-Moore has now filed a trademark application for “eat more kale.” About 30 seconds later, the second-largest chicken restaurant chain’s legal team sent him a cease-and-desist letter in which they listed at least 30 examples of attempts by others to co-opt the “eat more” phrase, attempts that they bullied into withdrawing. The letter ordered him to stop using the phrase and to turn over his website, eatmorekale.com, to Chick-fil-A.
This is not the first time a Vermonter has had to stand up on his hind feet.
Matt Nadeau’s Rock Art Brewery is a micro brewery in Morrisville, Vermont. A couple of years ago they introduced a beer called “Vermonster” that ran afoul of the Hansen Natural brand “Monster” energy drink folks. The two settled the case when Rock Art agreed never to go into the energy drink business. As far as I know, Ben & Jerry never went after Mr. Nadeau for infringing on their 14,000 calorie bucket with the same name.
At the end of the day, I kinda don’t think anyone will buy an ‘eat more kale’ shirt thinking it was a Chick-fil-A turkey.
Yeah, let’s all bow down to the bully because he’s bullied thirty people before us. I hope the artist decides he has nothing to lose if he fights and everything to lose if he backs down.
I hear it on good record that Picasso was a big kale eater; and that Vermont beer drinkers who eat kale and paint often end up unintentionally emulating the great one. So, if Muller Moore the artist teams up with Matt Nadeau the brewer, the two can take the North Puffin art world by storm.
I can envision hundreds of tiny Picasso-like portraits of a somber Dick Harper, unsuccessfully trying not to look like a distorted James Coburn–and all of them pasted on amber bottles of cool and refreshing Vermonster.
It is an adman’s dream project.
Reminds me of a Seattle steel drum band called The Toucans who recorded an album, but then got into a legal battle with Kellog’s. Yes, Kellog’s. The cereal maker.
Since the band still performs under that name to this day, and a check of the trademark registry shows a trademark was awarded, I will presume they actually won that battle.