The Random Yak

Unicorn 1, Pork 0 (or “Why the Geek Always Wins”)

Filed under: Frivol — Random Yak @ 3:46 pm on June 21, 2010

I had four entries lined up this morning, ready to run for today’s posting slot, but (as occasionally happens) a late entry beats them all hands down.

Why?

Because any time you get to poke BigLaw in the eye, you take the shot, and when someone else does it for you (complete with rainbows and sparkles) you better get in line to take the laugh.  In this case, it’s a long, long line.

On April Fool’s Day, ThinkGeek (one of the best websites in the known universe) posted an ad for the following “new product” offer:

The ad bore the slogan, “Unicorn: the New White Meat.”

In itself, awesome and worthy of note.

Then, on May 5, ThinkGeek received a cease and desist letter from none other than….the U.S. National Pork Board, claiming that “Unicorn: the new white meat” infringed its trademarked slogan, “The Other White Meat.” (ThinkGeek posted the first page of the letter here.)

Now, even ignoring the fact that the Pork Board recently stated its intention to stop using the Other White Meat slogan in favor of an updated and more interesting alternative (as reported by Slashfood, and also on the ThinkGeek blog) and assuming that the Pork Board’s legal counsel had honorable intentions to protect its client’s intellectual property, the noble, high-minded village idiots attorneys at [firm-name-deleted-to-protect-the-bottom-dwelling-though-you-can-find-it-at-the-link-above] might have wanted to take a couple of things into account before popping off with an angry growler of a cease and desist letter.  Things like:

1.  This might be an April Fool’s Day prank.

2.  This might be an April Fool’s Day prank.

and

3.  Unicorn isn’t really a sustainable meat, so the slogan won’t be around all that long anyway.

In the attorneys’ defense, I can certainly understand their concern.  Lots of people have a hard time distinguishing unicorns from pigs, particularly in a legal environment, where those who oink the loudest often seem to believe they poop rainbows.

2 Comments

  1. Just shows to go ya that some in the legal profession can’t tell the difference between real pork and mythical unicorn… or more likely just don’t care and simply seek to manufacture billable hours from whole cloth.

    Comment by David — June 22, 2010 @ 12:59 pm

  2. Yes, but maybe it also proves you CAN make a silk purse from a sow’s ear…if you bill enough for it.

    Comment by Random Yak — June 25, 2010 @ 9:27 am

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