For more than a decade, Vermont artist Bo Muller-Moore has been making t-shirts that urge folks to “eat more kale” instead of, oh, fast food.
He’s received a lot of free publicity and an uptick in sales in recent months thanks to the legal eagles at Chick-fil-A who have been trying to get him to stop using the phrase after he filed for a trademark. The chain feels his t-shirt slogan is too close to its trademarked “Eat mor chikin” slogan (misspelled as a cow might spell it — if a cow could write signs begging fast food restaurant brands to serve another species' meat).
While plenty of folks have had a chuckle or two over the legal kerfuffle, it’s anything but funny to the food chain’s lawyers, who filed a complaint last week with the Trademark office that consumers may think the two messages are coming from the same place, according to Vermont's Burlington Free Press.
A day later, the Trademark office announced that it agreed with Chick-fil-A that "Eat more kale" is too close to "Eat more chikin," and now Muller-Moore has six months to respond or the rejection of this trademark request will become permanent.
“I would not be telling you the truth if I said it was anything we expected,” said Muller-Moore’s attorney, Dan Richardson, according to the Free Press. “This doesn’t change any of the substance of our application or our position, it’s just a complication. There’s nothing in the decision that makes me rethink Bo’s application.”
Meanwhile, Chick-fil-A is keeping busy on another front: it's getting into the red-hot food-truck business, according to the Oregonian.
Its first one will appear in Washington, D.C. According to the paper, some other major chains have already gotten into the food-truck biz, including Taco Bell, Applebees, Dairy Queen, Carl’s Jr., Jack in the Box, and Qdoba Mexican Grill.
Still, even that simple move is not without controversy. A tweet that Chick-fil-A's first food truck was coming to D.C. sparked a protest by local gay rights activists, who object to the fact that the company has donated millions of dollars to anti-gay groups, leading to boycotts just over a year ago that was covered by Time and the New York Times.
That's a situation we'll assume the "Eat more chikin" cows are steering clear of.