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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The woman who runs this blog:<br><br><a href="http://thelactivist.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">http://thelactivist.blogspot.com/</a><br><br>
has received a cease and desist letter from The National Pork Board regarding one of her CafePress Tshirts, which had the slogan, "The Other White Milk."<br><br>
Apparently, part of their concern was that she was "tarnishing" the reputation of the National Pork Board's mark. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bigeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bigeyes"><br><br>
After consulting with a lawyer, she has complied with their requests (remove the shirt from her CafePress shop, send proof that she has done so, destroy any items containing the slogan -- she says she sold only two of that particular slogan, so no biggie -- and promise never to do it again) but she wants to bring a little attention to this ridiculous issue.<br><br>
She says she will have a full blog post up about this shortly.
 

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Well, I hate to sound like an anti-lactivist but she is using their slogan. Is their slogan trademarked? If so then isn't she in the wrong for trademark enfringment? I'm not saying that their reason isn't lame, because it is. But I can understand the pork people not wanting their product associated with lactivism. Some one correct me if I am wrong on the trademark thing.
 

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I don't understand what they're problem is. Her slogan is slightly different, and unless they can prove there's a reasonable chance that someone would mistake her shirts as referring to pork, I don't think there's anything they can do. SPAM tried to sue groups for promoting "Spam blockers" and the case was thrown out because the judge said it was unlikely that anyone would confuse it for the food product.
 

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But it's an odvious rip off (or parody or whatever the right word is) of their slogan. Like I said, I think their reason is stupid, but what if the tables were turned? Like if a BFing friendly slogan (which was copy writted) was slightly altered to promote circ or formula, wouldn't that upset you? There are so many good completely original pro-BFing slogans out there. I personally see why they don't want someone else altering their slogan for profit, reguardless of what it is promoting.
 

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So I'm the only one annoyed by the pork board insulting breastfeeding with the idea that these shirts tarnish their image?
 

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In a similar case the BF friendly line of clothing "Milk Dudz" (sp?) won when the manufacturer of the candy, "Milk Duds" sued, (I didn't actually see this in the news. I read it on these boards. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.)<br><br>
In that case the words were nearly identical and only the spelling was different. I think if this lady had the money and the wherewithal to fight she would win. If I were her and I couldn't afford to fight it I would go looking for a BF friendly operation (perhaps Milk Dudz) and sell my interest to them and let them fight it (and probably win).<br><br>
Having said that, in response to MomTwice's question regarding the claim that their image is being tarnished, my understanding is that this is a pre-requisite to making this type of claim. I can almost guarantee you that if Carmellite Nuns or Hindu Monks were marketing organic milk and using that phrase the pork industry would be making the same claim with the exact same allegations regarding "tarnished" image.<br>
~Cath
 

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Please, before you write this lactivist off as some kind of wacko, read her blog entry about this:<br><br><a href="http://thelactivist.blogspot.com/2007/02/overzealous-big-pork-stomps-on.html" target="_blank">http://thelactivist.blogspot.com/200...stomps-on.html</a><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Julia<br>
dd 10 mos <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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If this case went to the Supreme Court, you can bet she'd win. You can look up Victor's Secret for another case that was much more iffy and Victor won.<br><br>
But she can't afford to hire the lawyers necessary to fight the Pork People. If you knew the law (which I wouldn't expect anyone to) you'd know that the only reason the Pork People are going to win this one is because they have more resources. According to the law, they're wrong.<br><br>
(ok, so it's arguable, but if you look at past caselaw, it seems awfully clear to me that the lactivist is in the right).<br><br>
Julia<br>
dd 10 mos <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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Is the standard tarnished image AND likelyhood of confusion? Or is it tarnished image or likelyhood of confusion?<br><br>
I don't think it matters, but I don't know. I never studied or practiced trademark law.<br><br>
But I would like to see the argument that being associated with breastfeeding tarnishes anything! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
As for confusion, is the Pork Board seriously arguing that Joe Q Public would check his plan for pork chops for dinner in favor of breastmilk after seeing a The Other White Milk t-shirt?!
 

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Most companies pay millions of dollars for their marketing campaigns and brand management, which is why they get so kneejerk about any seeming violation of their trademark.<br><br>
Oh, and there is a form letter that most corporate lawyers have demanding "cease and desist" for copyright or trademark infringement. Don't take the language too seriously - they use it for every perceived trademark infringement.<br><br>
I do think she would have had a case if she had the money to fight it. But most of the time it isn't worth the effort, unfortunately
 

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Hey all, it's me, the lactivist.<br><br>
To note, I haven't yet decided if I'll comply or not. I was leaning toward complying simply due to not really having the time/energy for a court battle right now, but now am undecided as I've been swamped with emails and have several pro bono lawyer references being sent my way.<br><br>
I've got until the 5th, so the goal right now is to get enough bad publicity for them to get them to back off the suit.<br><br>
As someone has pointed out, their trademark is on "the other white meat" whereas my shirt says "the other white milk." It's not even the same logo, font, or anything.<br><br>
It appears to be shooting through the blog world right now, so we'll see what happens. To note, I'm going to add a link to this thread to the post. Trying to send out links to everyone that has mentioned it or is supporting it.
 

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Hee-hee, I just sent it out as a myspace bulletin <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Momtwice</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7182298"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">So I'm the only one annoyed by the pork board insulting breastfeeding with the idea that these shirts tarnish their image?</div>
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That's my main concern with this. It's one thing to say, "Hey, you're parodying our slogan, please stop." It's entirely another to say, "It is tarnishing our reputation to be associated with you."<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Romana9+2</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7183617"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Please, before you write this lactivist off as some kind of wacko, read her blog entry about this:<br><br><a href="http://thelactivist.blogspot.com/2007/02/overzealous-big-pork-stomps-on.html" target="_blank">http://thelactivist.blogspot.com/200...stomps-on.html</a><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Julia<br>
dd 10 mos <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"></div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:
 

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Just like when Hershey's...or was it Mars? Anuhow...they sued Milk Dudz, a small company that made clothes for mommas who nurse. They said she was infringing on their copyright for the candy Milkduds.<br>
They were extremely harsh with her...I don't really remember the outcome, but they were sueing her for a large amount of royalties!!!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>hunnybumm</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7181835"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Well, I hate to sound like an anti-lactivist but she is using their slogan. Is their slogan trademarked? If so then isn't she in the wrong for trademark enfringment? I'm not saying that their reason isn't lame, because it is. But I can understand the pork people not wanting their product associated with lactivism. Some one correct me if I am wrong on the trademark thing.</div>
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I'm pretty sure she would have to be <b>selling pork</b>-related merchandise with their <b>word for word</b> slogan to be in violation of their TM.<br><br>
As if that's not enough, a case could probably be made for <a href="http://www.publaw.com/parody.html" target="_blank">fair use (parody)</a>.<br><br>
Side note: <a href="http://www.cafepress.com/thelactivist.38905779" target="_blank">I WANT THIS TSHIRT!!!!</a> OMG <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">"In addition, your use of this slogan also tarnishes the good reputation of the National Pork Board's mark in light of your apparent attempt to promote the use of breastmilk beyond merely for infant consumption, such as with the following slogans on your website in close proximity to the slogan "The Other White Milk." "Dairy Diva," "Nursing, Nature's Own Breast Enhancement," "Eat at Mom's, fast-fresh-from the breast," and "My Milk is the Breast."</td>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/jaw2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="jaw2"> Are you freaking KIDDING me??? What do they think she's promoting?
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">"In addition, your use of this slogan also tarnishes the good reputation of the National Pork Board's mark in light of your apparent attempt to promote the use of breastmilk beyond merely for infant consumption, such as with the following slogans on your website in close proximity to the slogan "The Other White Milk." "Dairy Diva," "Nursing, Nature's Own Breast Enhancement," "Eat at Mom's, fast-fresh-from the breast," and "My Milk is the Breast."</td>
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What gutter are their minds in that they think any of those slogans promote anything except infant nursing? Projecting much?<br><br>
Seems to me that they are suggesting that their customers are so stupid as to be unable to tell pork from milk. Who's insulting whom here?<br><br><i>Pondering going back to eating more chicken, turkey bacon, and beef, rather than pork...I mean, why give our money to such complete idiots?</i>
 

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This is just a case of big businesses beating up on a small fry just because they can. Her shirts are funny, and if everyone parodied on cafepress sued, there'd be very little left to buy. It's parody, not trademark infringement, plain and simple.<br><br>
And to even SUGGEST that the "reputation" of PORK (which is nasty and unhealthy) could be tarnished by association with breast milk is insulting to mothers and completely ridiculous. MORONS!
 
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