Search Engine Industry Blogger, Jennifer Laycock, Ordered to Remove Her Shirt

Feb 1, 2007 • 6:48 pm | comments (2) by twitter | Filed Under Search Engine Industry News

SearchEngineGuide's, Jennifer Laycock, was shocked to be served with a letter threatening a lawsuit over her usage of the phrase, "The other white milk' on a t-shirt she sells to raise funds for a cause she supports, from a personal blog she owns.

Jen shares the contents of the letter and her feelings in Overzealous Big Pork Stomps on Breastfeeding Blogger. She writes:

I received a letter this morning from Jennifer Daniel Collins, an attorney at Faegre & Benson that represents The National Pork Board. It stated, for the most part, that my use of the phrase "the other white milk" violates their trademark on the phrase "the other white meat." As such, they've demanded that I remove the shirt, demanded that the image of the shirt be removed from any site I know of, demanded that I destroy any shirts that exist with the logo and demand that I not at any point in the future use the phrase in a commercially profitable way.

My favorite parts of this? She's earned all of $8 for that t-shirt, sold at CafePress, and her lactivist breastfeeding blog is targeted to mothers of little people who don't have the teeth to chew pork products.

Discussion: Cre8asiteforums

Postscript Barry: Danny Sullivan has some more detail at Search Engine Land and he suggests that if the National Pork Board does not drop it, then we should all link to Jennifer's post using the anchor text Back Off National Pork Board (remove the nofollow on February 5th, if they have not dropped their case). Also be sure to Digg Jennifer's post over here.

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Chris Beasley

02/02/2007 01:32 am

I've seen this sort of thing before. I once got a similar letter for a product I was "selling" on a website... in truth it was only an affiliate link to Amazon. Idiot lawyers... anyways....She might have a leg to stand on. Trademarks are specific to industry, and parody is protected. But a legal battle is expensive and even if you win, you still lose. Mostly if I had to guess I'd say this is an attorney looking to add more billable hours for their client. Honestly? Do you see these pork people sitting around worrying about breast feeding activitists? What I think is likely is some intern at some law firm was tasked to find infringement of company trademarks, and when found they always send out these letters without stopping and thinking with any amount of common sense about it. This way they can bill their client for "work". I'd have to hope that she makes a stink about it, gets a little press attention, which gets back to the pork guys, who fire their lawyers for creating a PR mess for them. That would be good karma.


02/04/2007 04:27 am

She's got nothing to worry about. Hell, how "worn out" did the "Got Milk" thing get? Everyone whored that catchphrase out, and no one got sued. Looks like the only thing our friend Ms. Laycock is in danger of is lots more traffic to her blog. Go get 'em, Jen!!!!

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