‘Eat More Kale’ Shirtmaker Draws Chik-Fil-A Legal Ire
A 38-year-old folk artist from Vermont vows to fight fast food giant Chik-Fil-A for the right to keep printing his ”Eat More Kale” shirts, as the chain has alleged the phrase infringes on their intellectual property.
Bo Muller-Moore, the man behind the “Eat More Kale” shirts, first silk-screened the legend by hand onto the t-shirts as, he says, a way to promote eating local and supporting small-scale agriculture. (Muller-Moore also grows the leafy green veggie.) But after 11 years of “Eat More Kale” shirts, Chik-Fil-A got wind of the slogan, which they say is too close for comfort to their phrase “eat mor chikin.” The corporation alleged in a cease and desist letter to Muller-Moore that his use of the similar phrase “is likely to cause confusion of the public and dilutes the distinctiveness of Chik-fil-A’s intellectual property and diminishes its value.”
Montpelier, Vermont lawyer and intellectual property specialist Daniel Richardson has been working with Muller-Moore on the trademark battle, and he disagrees with Chik-Fil-A’s stance. Richardson explains:
“Bo’s is a very different statement. It’s more of a philosophical statement about local agriculture and community-supported farmers markets. At the end of the day, I don’t think anyone will step forward and say they bought an ‘eat more kale’ shirt thinking it was a Chick-fil-A product.”
Chik-Fil-A has also demanded Muller-Moore turn over his website, eatmorekale.com. But the artist says that “the plan is to not back down” and that the legal wrangling “feels like David versus Goliath.” In addition to fighting the chain on the trademark issue, he has also filed his own application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to protect the phrase.