Singers Daryl Hall and John Oates can’t go for copyright infringement. When a granola company named their breakfast cereal Haulin’ Oats, the duo took immediate action. Hall and Oates reportedly filed a lawsuit in a Brooklyn, New York, court, accusing Early Bird Foods & Co., the makers of Haulin’ Oats, of naming the cereal after the pair without permission.
According to the Toronto Sun, the court documents filed by the “Maneater” singers stated that the company fully intended to profit by closely associating the name of the cereal with Hall and Oates.
“The name and mark Haulin’ Oats is an obvious play upon Plaintiff’s well-known Hall & Oates mark, and was selected by defendant in an effort to trade-off of the fame and notoriety associated with the artist’s and plaintiff’s well-known marks.”
A news article by the Hollywood Reporter stated that Haulin’ Oats breakfast cereal is typically sold in three-packs worth $27. The cereals ingredients include rolled oats, which is how it gained part of its name. Unfortunately for Bird Food & Co., it’s the first half of the name that lends itself to controversy.
The reason that Daryl and John are on edge about this cereal is that, apparently, various companies with oat-based products have attempted to link their food items to the singers’ names. While the concept may seem cute on the surface, this represents money that isn’t paid to the duo regarding their names. As it turns out, Hall and Oates have a company together named Whole Oats Enterprises. The company is listed as the plaintiff in the case. It also happens to be the name of the singers’ first album together.
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It’s going to be very hard for the company to offer an alternative explanation for a name that sounds a great deal like Hall and Oates. But it wouldn’t be too surprising if they tried. One possible explanation could be that rather than cheeky take on the pop group, the name is, in fact, a take on the popular phrase “hauling a**.”
It’s just a matter of whether or not any proposed explanation could convince the Brooklyn court that Bird Foods & Co. did not knowingly rip off the angry singers.
In addition to cereal troubles, Daryl and John have run into some performance issues. The pair was reportedly scheduled to appear in Washington, D.C., on March 1. Unfortunately, Hall and Oates were forced to reschedule after Hall developed laryngitis.
What do you think: Did this company purposely name Haulin’ Oats after Hall and Oates?
[Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons]