Pork Pushers Protest Sale of Unicorn Meat

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Pork Pushers Protest Sale of Unicorn Meat

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The National Pork Board of the United States has threatened legal action against ThinkGeek for infringing on its "Other White Meat" trademark in advertisements for canned unicorn meat.

"Unicorns, as we all know, frolic all over the world, pooping rainbows and marshmallows wherever they go," says the ad for Radiant Farms' Canned Unicorn Meat. And as they age, they are magically drawn to Ireland, where the Sisters at Radiant Farms nurse them through their final days, massaging Guinness into their coats every day and fattening them up with candy corn. "Pâté is passé," the ad says. "Unicorn - The New White Meat."

Unfortunately for the Sisters and unicorn connoisseurs around the globe, the ad, which coincidentally or not debuted on April 1, caught the attention of the sharp minds at the National Pork Board, which is responsible for research, consumer information and the promotion of pork as a food product. Its most famous work is the "Pork: The Other White Meat" advertising campaign, which dates all the way back to 1987 and is still in use today. Slogans with that kind of staying power are very few and far-between, so it should come as no surprise that the Pork Board acts very aggressively to protect it.

Thus did the Pork Board, through the law firm of Faegre & Benson, send a 12-page cease & desist letter to ThinkGeek, advising it that the unicorn meat ad violates "The Other White Meat" mark held by the NPB. In response, ThinkGeek has issued a public apology for the unintended confusion, assuring the Pork Board that it is not attempting to supplant pork with unicorn meat.

"It was never our intention to cause a national crisis and misguide American citizens regarding the differences between the pig and the unicorn," Geeknet President and CEO Scott Kauffman said in a press release. "In fact, ThinkGeek's canned unicorn meat is sparkly, a bit red and not approved by any government entity."

ThinkGeek also apologized for the long, awkward pause in the conversation when it explained to the Pork Board over the telephone that unicorn meat doesn't actually exist.

Thanks to The_root_of_all_evil for the tip.

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I love think geeks reply, they're just fantastic.

And I love their products.

GO VEGETARIAN AND END THIS BARBARITY No, I will not be militant, I will let people make their own choices.

Personally I'm really confused as to exactly how this infringes on the trademark. They say "New" the other company say "Other". HOW IS THAT THE SAME?

Wow. Some people have no sense of humour.
I mean, 'They stole our slogan to sell canned unicorn meat.'And these are supposed to be grown men...

In other news, Tim Langdell recently assumed ownership of the National Pork Board.

Silly, silly case they have here.

Although I find it funny that they're drawn to Ireland. Why exactly a pure beast would be drawn to this hedonistic island of violent lunatics I have no idea. At least they're in County Meath, that's about 30 minutes away from me, I must go kill one see them sometime.

Amurica is sooo awesome!!!

Epic overreaction is epic!

I may be misinformed, but wouldn't this be covered under satire? I thought it would be fairly obvious from the fact it's Unicorn Meat that they weren't being serious, and were not introducing a competing product. I don't see how this violates their mark, even if it is kind of similar.

Satire is never(unless it is parody) protected under free speech, however parody is under copyright law, however this is not a copyright issue, but a trademark issue... If a consumer can confuse the product whether be parody or not, then there is a legal case.

If an Avatar porn parody can be marketed and sold, then i suspect Unicorn Meat will be safe.

Baldr:
Satire is never protected under free speech, however parody is under copyright law, however this is not a copyright issue, but a trademark issue... If a consumer can confuse the product whether be parody or not, then there is a legal case.

Somebody really thinking that unicorns are killed and processed for meat also thinks that welsh dragon sausages are made from welsh dragons.

Hahahahahahaha!

Oh god, I love the times we live in. Between this and the African American community over reacting to that graduation card, and the arguments against gaming, I'll have shit to laugh about for years...

...That had to be the most stupid thing I heard all week.

It was a joke article, they can't take a joke, then they are doom.

Epic reponse by the way.

Baldr:
Satire is never(unless it is parody) protected under free speech, however parody is under copyright law, however this is not a copyright issue, but a trademark issue... If a consumer can confuse the product whether be parody or not, then there is a legal case.

Satire is protected by free speech, otherwise comedians like Steven Colbert would be out of a job and in jail. SNL wouldn't still be live on Saturday night or any other. Yes, if there is an actual product similar to another that uses a similar tag-line, then copyright issues come up, but as the article stated, Unicorn Meat isn't an actual edible meat product. It's more a comedy prop like my can of dehydrated water. Therefore, I don't see how a consumer could confuse the two. I still say no one's rights have been violated.

Femaref:

Somebody really thinking that unicorns are killed and processed for meat also thinks that welsh dragon sausages are made from welsh dragons.

I thought they were sausages made from dragons in the welsh style. Shows you how much I know ;p

Isn't pork on a campaign right now for a new slogan since they think that "The other white meat" is outdated?

I love Think Geek, and hope that it doesn't come down to a lawsuit.

Of course, I think the pork people would be much more satisfied if they would use my slogan "Pork: The one you love."

Now that's just plain sad.

Oh... dear... is all I can really say to that (or should it be oh unicorn?).
It makes me laugh that this was taken so seriously when unicorns don't (to our knowledge) exist. I know copyright infringment is a bad thing but this is equivilent to Rowntree's fruit gums taking action against the Goodies (old UK TV show ask you're parents if you're under the age of twenty) for infringement on the slogon 'Goodie, Goodie gum gum'. Or visa vera, I can't remember which came first, 'Goodie, Goodie yum, yum' or 'Goodie, Goodie, gum gum'. Very silly.
And thus ends my tortured metaphore/reference.

Bureaucracy at it's finest.

Everyone knows that Pegasus meat is the money meat.

Unicorn Meat: The Other New White Meat Like Product.

...it tastes like horse.

Dammit I was going to use that slogan for my canned Soylent Green

Wow...some people need to get a sense of humour and lighten up...Its hilarious!

ThinkGeek are awesome. I've bought from them before :P

Great response too!

Dumbass executives...

Honestly, April 1st + Unicorns = a joke so obvious a toddler can see

Oh to be able to listen to that phone conversation...

Awesome.

The silliness of some people is astonishing no matter how often observed.

Why do I have the feeling the Beef council would have seen through the charade and had a hearty laugh if the feaux-ad had satired their product instead? This is saying so much about the Pork industry that I am uncomfortable at learning.
Addendum: And yet PETA never sprouted up and said anything? This is weird.

dragontiers:
I may be misinformed, but wouldn't this be covered under satire? I thought it would be fairly obvious from the fact it's Unicorn Meat that they weren't being serious, and were not introducing a competing product. I don't see how this violates their mark, even if it is kind of similar.

It most certainly is, as the ThinkGeek staff explained - what's funny is the Pork Board and their legal representation somehow overlooked the bit where canned unicorn meat was an April Fools Day joke and not in fact a product for sale. They weren't protesting a comedy product using something similar to their trademark for satirical purposes, they just genuinely didn't notice it was satire and not in any way real. Somehow.

Your guess is as good as mine how that is possible, heh.

Idlemessiah:
Wow. Some people have no sense of humour.
I mean, 'They stole our slogan to sell canned unicorn meat.'And these are supposed to be grown men...

I suspect there might be more to this story than the article is covering.

While superficially silly, there must have been some reason they reacted that way. People have poked fun at/spoofed the slogan befor eI believe. For some reason they must have viewed this joke as a threat, and it makes me wonder as to why.

For example did "Thinkgeek" bait them specifically for laughs, a part of the story we're not seeing?

squid5580:
Dammit I was going to use that slogan for my canned Soylent Green

Well, in that case, I think you'll just get accused of racism.

Okay folks, turn towards the National Pork Board and sing it with me...

"You are an idiot! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha-a ha ha ha-a ha!"

Massive failure

Wait. I'm supposed to trust these idiots with safely handling my pork products? This is hilarious, but for all the wrong reasons. I guess you can make a court case out of anything these days...

So wait, there really isn't any unicorn meat?

But I really wanted to try it!

Lady Amalthea....yummmmm

And from this day forward, anybody working in the pork industry shall now be known as a mental deficient.

Why? Because nobody stood back and said: "Err... Unicorn's aren't real, and a lawsuit would be fucking stupid"

And even if they did, they sure's hell didn't say anything.

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