Thursday, February 01, 2007

National Pork Board threatens lactivist with lawsuit

A mother who sells humorous t-shirts that promote breastfeeding to raise money for the Mother's Milk Bank of Ohio recently received a letter from the National Pork Board demanding that she stop selling a t-shirt with the slogan "the other white milk".

A copy of the letter is posted on her site, and reads in part:

National Pork Board considers your use of the slogan "The Other White Milk" to be a trademark infringement and also trademark dilution. The slogan "The Other White Milk" is an obvious attempt to call to mind National Pork Board's famous mark THE OTHER WHITE MEAT, and it is clearly likely to cause confusion as to whether the products being offered by you under that slogan are associated with or endorsed by or otherwise affiliated with National Pork Board's long-established campaign for the pork industry. Moreover, even were the use of the slogan "The Other White Milk" found to be not confusing, which we think is unlikely, the slogan nevertheless damages National Pork Board's rights in the famous mark THE OTHER WHITE MEAT because the slogan significantly dilutes the distinctiveness of National Pork Board's mark. 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."

Huh? National Pork Board (apparently no "the") is concerned that people who see these t-shirts are going to think that NPB supports adult consumption of breast milk? That's just silly. They are giving her until Monday to stop using the slogan and destroy any products with the slogan on them. Is she supposed to have a bonfire in her front yard?

UPDATE: The CEO of NPB apologized. Many blogs posted about the whole fiasco; this one was the most informative, and this one was the funniest.

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