February 1, 2007

Big Pork Says Blogger's Breastmilk T-Shirt Isn't Kosher


Lactivist/blogger The Lactivist got a cease & desist order from The National Pork Board, demanding that she destroy her trademark-infringing, pro-breastfeeding t-shirts that say "The Other White Milk." [Cafepress pulled the shirts before The Lactivist even knew what was happening; the image above is from Google's cache.]

Not only is she infringing on their trademark, the Pork People say, the shirt 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..."

I guess it's refreshing to see that despite the industrialization, consolidation, and massive environmental degradation Big Pork can still keep its vivid imagination--and can care so much about their reputation.

Meanwhile, I'm just waiting for the "The Other White Milk" smackdown challenge from Big Soymilk.

Overzealous Big Pork Stomps on Breastfeeding Blogger
[thelacktivist via dt reader cam]
Previously: Lips Stuck On A Pig; Max Cady still hasn't sued over "LOVE PORK" knuckle tat t-shirt

[did you think I'd forget?]


Hey, not only is their imagination vivid regarding exactly what use of breastmilk the Lactivist is advocating, but they continue to try to portray their reddish-pink fat mammal flesh as "white meat"... where is "Big Poultry" when you need them?

Boycott pig milk! Shut the industry down!

Is this the same pork industry that makes Morningstar Farms call my veggie bacon "breakfast strips" ?

This will just make me not buy pork for the forseeable future (and the really average pork chops we got from Kroger this week don't help, either). Way to go, pork boardsters! And a special mention for Cafepress for being extra-wussy.

[yeah, those Cafepress guys are always looking for a chance to suck up to Big Pork. -ed.]

The pork industry is absurd.

I'm still waiting for the dairy industry to object to calling breastmilk "milk". :p

I'm all for going to battle against a lame Cease & Desist order. But, can everyone please stop with the lame slogan t-shirts?

[so tell me, andy: why do you hate breasts? -ed.]

She's posted an update - apparently she got an apology from the CEO of the pork board and they're working on a resolution.

I think the pork board should find a new lawyer. Talk about a ham fisted response.

I sent an email to the Pork Board defending The Lactivist. I got a template response and I include it here for anyone that's interested.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Thank you for your email to the National Pork Board. We appreciate you taking the time to send us an email regarding our communication with "The Lactivist" webstore on CafePress.com about our trademark rights.

It is important to understand that our lawyer’s correspondence to Ms. Laycock was in no way intended to challenge or demean breastfeeding or those who support it. This correspondence is about defending our trademark and the National Pork Board's responsibility to protect pork industry investments on behalf of the 70,000 US pork producers we represent. The Other White Meat® is a pork industry trademark whose value was built slowly and thoughtfully over 20 years, paid for by producer’s hard-earned dollars. Any infringement on that mark would substantially lessen its value and impact for US pork producers.

It’s also important to understand that the National Pork Board cannot pick and choose which infringement challenges it decides to address. We have a responsibility to the industry to challenge all viable infringements (and we do so on a weekly basis) or face the possibility of losing trademark protection and allowing the industry’s valued trademark to become public domain, and thus worthless.

Again, the National Pork Board takes no issue with your important cause. Our interest here was in protecting US pork producer’s investment in The Other White Meat® trademark. We apologize if our response seemed impersonal or harsh; that was not our intent. We will use all feedback that we receive to improve our communication processes in the future. Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention.


Steve Murphy
Chief Executive Officer
The National Pork Board

is the slogan not satire? i thought satire was permitted, even against copyrighted stuff. i mean after all, the lactivist is merely the weird al yankovich of tshirts in this case, right?

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