Pork Board: infringement by ‘Unicorn meat’
The US National Pork Board has issued a cease and desist letter to online retailer ThinkGeek regarding a potential infrigement of their trademark slogan ‘The Other White Meat’ – in regard to an April Fools Day ‘canned unicorn’ product.
A headline on the ThinkGeek gag page for Radiant Farms Canned Unicorn Meat reads “Pate is passe. Unicorn – the new white meat.”
The page also describes the product as an ‘excellent source of sparkles’ and ‘fattened on a diet comprised entirely of candy corn’, as well as describing it as polyunsaturated, LDL-cholesterol lowering, and massaged daily with Guinness by Irish nuns.
ThinkGeek received a cease-and-desist letter from law firm Fagre & Benson, on behalf of the National Pork Board, four days after April Fools, demanding that they (and other unrelated blogs and social media) stop referring to the hoax product as ‘the new white meat’.
“We’d like to publicly apologize to the NPB for the confusion over unicorn and pork — and for their awkward extended pause on the phone after we had explained our unicorn meat doesn’t actually exist,” said ThinkGeek.
“It was never our intention to cause a national crisis and misguide American citizens regarding the differences between the pig and the unicorn,” said Scott Kauffman, President and CEO of Geeknet, the parent company of ThinkGeek. “In fact, ThinkGeek’s canned unicorn meat is sparkly, a bit red, and not approved by any government entity.”
Under United States law, protections exist for parody of copyrighted works and trademarks under the doctrine of fair use.