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Overzealous Big Pork Stomps on Breastfeeding Blogger

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

UPDATE: If you've come via a direct link, make sure to read "An Update on the Pigsteria...

UPDATE 2: It's over. Find out how it got resolved in Well Done, Pork.

Some day, when Emmitt is a little older and we look back on his first year of life, we'll fondly remember the lactivist causes that we fought for. The time we staged the Delta Nurse-in here in Columbus, the time we were filmed for the South Korean documentary, the fundraising that we've done for the Mother's Milk Bank, the times we were featured in The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle and a variety of other publications.

What we might not remember fondly is the time that the legal counsel for The National Pork Board sent us a threatening letter stating that they were prepared to sue us if we didn't bow to their demands.

Yep, you read that right. The Lactivist is being threatened with a lawsuit.

Why? Because I was selling a shirt that said "the other white milk."

First, a little background if you're new to the site. The Lactivist is a blog about breastfeeding and human milk banking. It's mostly a gathering place for breastfeeding moms to come and share their thoughts and experiences and to keep up to date on the latest issues in the fight for the rights of a child to eat in public. To help fund the site (and to raise money for the non-profit milk banks) I have a CafePress store that sells t-shirts with funny pro-breastfeeding slogans. Things like "Milk on Tap" and "That's my baby's lunch you're staring at."

Thus...the shirt that read "the other white milk."

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.

(Want to read ALL the demands? Download the C&D as a PDF file.)

Apparently the National Pork Board is worried that someone might come to my breastfeeding blog, check out the shirts and worry that when I say "white milk" what I really mean is "thick and juicy, straight from the hog PORK." Come on now, be honest...were you confused? Because I sort of thought I was comparing breastmilk (which just happens to be white) with the milk of a variety of other animals (cows? goats?) that happen to produce white milk (not kangaroos though, their milk is pink) and that often gets fed to infants INSTEAD of breast milk.

Wait, it gets better...

As best I can tell, the issue that REALLY has their panties in a wad is expressed in this quote from the cease and desist letter:

"In addition, your use of this slogan 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, such as with the following slogans on your website in close proximity to the slogan "The Other White Milk." "Dairy Diva," "Nursing, Nature's Own Breast Enhancement," "Eat at Mom's, fast-fresh-from the breast," and "My Milk is the Breast."

Go back and read that again. "apparent attempt to promote the use of breastmilk beyond merely for infant consumption."

Do they think I'm trying to an promote an adult breastfeeding fetish??!

Are you freaking kidding me?

Do you think they actually took two seconds to read the site, or do you think they just glanced and fired off a legal template with a few fill in the blank options?

So let's be clear about what we have here.

We've got a hobby site by a work-at-home mom that aims at helping to educate the public about breastfeeding and human milk banking. A site that has raised nearly $2000 (more than a third of its total profit over the last year) for the Mother's Milk Bank of Ohio. A site that has made a measly $8 dollars (count em, ONE-TWO-THREE-FOUR-FIVE-SIX-SEVEN-EIGHT dollars) off the sale of this shirt that is supposedly doing so much damage to people's desire to eat pork.

It's not like I'm selling a shirt that says "Breastfed babies don't grow up to be porkers" or something that might tarnish pork's good name. (It's also been suggested that I create shirts that read "The alternative white milk…" and "The auxiliary white milk…" would those get me sued too?)

I understand that Trademark law requires that a company "zealously" protect their trademark so that they can continue to hold on to it. Unfortunately, the ease of the Internet makes it really easy to fire off templated legalese emails at anyone and everyone that even comes CLOSE to the concept of the trademark. Big companies know that most bloggers have neither the time nor the resources to fight back, so even if the big company doesn't have a case, they win.

Now let me make one important point. I don't much care about selling the shirt. In fact, CafePress had removed it from the site before I ever even saw the letter from the law firm. It really doesn't matter to me if I ever sell it again. It's certainly not the cleverest slogan I've come up with so it's no big loss. What I'm ticked about is that rather than taking two seconds to send me a nice email to request that I remove it, they came in guns a blazin' with a lawyer crafted nasty gram that actually includes the phrase "We trust that after you have reviewed this matter, you will conclude that the better course is to promptly comply with National Pork Board's demands herein."

I don't have a lot of tolerance for bullies.

I still have a few days to decide what I'm going to do. Anyone know a good pro bono lawyer that's sympathetic to the breastfeeding cause?

How can you help?

Blog my friends…blog away. Share this post with discussion forums, social media sites, bloggers…anyone you can think of that will be as outraged about this as I am. Feel like shooting a few letters off to the marketing and PR departments of the National Pork Board (or your favorite reporters and journalists) to share your opinion of this type of bullying?

To note, I'm going to be keeping a list of all the places that this gets covered at the bottom of the post, so if you blog it or post it somewhere, drop me an email and let me know... (jennifer at thelactivist dot com)

Here are quick button links to some of my favorite social media sites.


del.icio.us digg Fark Furl Ma.gnolia Reddit Netscape StumbleUpon Technorati YahooMyWeb

Here's some contact information:

You can email the Pork Board directly. Or, you can contact the relevant folks in the marketing and PR departments.

Jeff Hartz - Director of Marketing Communications
(515) 223-2629 JHartz@pork.org

Joy Johnson - Vice President Marketing
(515) 223-2631 jjohnson@pork.org

Michael Wegner - Vice President Communications
(515) 223-2638 MWegner@pork.org

Teresa Roof - Public Relation Manager
(515) 223-2616 troof@pork.org

ETA: Stories are already popping up: (rats! Blogger seems to have a post limit and it's just dropped about 30 links off of this page. I'm headed to bed soon, will repost a NEW post tomorrow with links to all the coverage.)

It's been Dugg.
It's on Six Degrees of Bacon
It's on Mothering
It's on The Small Business Ideas forum.
It's on Marketing Pilgrim
It's on Traffick
It's on Breastfeeding 1-2-3
It's on Search Engine Land
It's on Shoemoney
It's on Search Engine Guide
It's on The Feeding Choices Board at BabyCenter
It's on I don't Know
It's on Cameron Olthuis' blog
It's at Apogee Weblog
It's at Work at Home in Progress
It's in SearchRank
It's at Ninety-Seventh Floor
It's at Ask Shane
It's at Babbly
It's at Breastfeeding Mums

Labels: ,

  1. Anonymous Sinead@BreastFeedingMums | 12:24 PM |  

    You know you've got my support Jen!
    It's really ridiculous that they are being so petty about this whole thing. I cannot quite believe that they are bullying you like this, nor how they can even compare the two phrases. You are selling a breastfeeding tee-shirt promoting breastfeeding, nothing to do with pork! Where is the connection?
    I'll be blogging about it later this evening.

  2. Anonymous Claudia | 12:29 PM |  

    E gads, they have their nerve. It's not even close, who can't tell the difference between meat and milk! I hope you get a pit bull lawyer who will tell them to shove it. Not because you want to continue to sell the tee, which you said you don't, but because this is no way to treat honest, decent folks. Their accusations of promoting breast milk for reasons other than infant consumption makes me fighting mad (Italian temper). All the jokes and bad mouthing of lawyers are true, they suck! Well, maybe not all. Especially the one who's going to defend you. God speed, Jen, give 'em a run for their money. Sorry I don't have any resources for you, just passionate support.

  3. Anonymous Anonymous | 12:32 PM |  

    I think I must be missing something here, Jen. Why is it a violation of their trademark? You didn't use their slogan. (This may have been answered in the C&D which I didn't read (sheepish grin).)

    So nobody can ever use any phrase that states, "The other white [anything]?" Is that what they are claiming?

    Karon T.

  4. Blogger Jennifer | 12:39 PM |  

    You'll have to read the full C&D to get their exact meaning, but what they're claiming is that I obviously did it to take away from their established good name, and that it actually damages them because it associates them with *gasp* breastfeeding! Oh the horror!!!

    We wouldn't want pork associated with something as healthy as breastfeeding, now would we?

    I assume that means they don't think it counts as parody. ;)

  5. Anonymous Angela | 12:46 PM |  

    Blogged my support with the quick question: did the National Pork Board forget that pigs are mammals too?

    http://www.breastfeeding123.com/did-the-national-pork-board-forget-that-piglets-breastfeed-too/

  6. Blogger rephair | 12:50 PM |  

    OK, let's try this again. As one of our dear friends stated so eloquently once, "Let's face it your just smarter than they are!" Bullies have big egoes and usually very little to back it up. Unfortunately, these bullies have big, expensive lawyers :( But it just goes to show that the "little man/woman" can still make a BIG difference. Don't worry, God tends to side w/ the underdogs ;0
    Forever and ever, you've got my support, Jen.

  7. Blogger Damien McKenna | 1:09 PM |  

    I submitted a message to BoingBoing, lets see if they post it.

  8. Blogger Shawn | 1:13 PM |  

    I saw your plea on Shoemoney's site. This same crap happened to me when I owned a business. Fortunately, I may have found you a way out - you could probably claim the same thing as this guy.
    thisistrue.com/hasbro.html - go to his parody link.

    Your tshirt is a parody of the - the other white meat - so it should fall under the same protection. Good luck!

  9. Anonymous Anonymous | 1:24 PM |  

    Why don't you eat a pork chop before breast feeding and then claim you're promoting, and enabling, the consumption of pork for the next generation?

  10. Blogger Leah | 1:25 PM |  

    Here's my post calling attention to it. People are such [redacted] sometimes.

  11. Blogger Leah | 1:26 PM |  

    Oops, it would help if I left the link. Sorry. http://lakelinesthoughts.com/?p=395

  12. Blogger Chris | 1:37 PM |  

    Start a new seo contest whoever gets ranked in the top positions for both Faegre & Benson and the National Pork Board gets a permanant link from the homepage of search engine guide to their seo blog?

    Im sure the Law firms potential clients will love to see 9 out of the top 10 posts talking bad about the company. :)

  13. Blogger Dirtpuddle | 1:48 PM |  

    It's on mothering.com, too: http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=607696>mothering.com

    Give 'em hell! I hope you find a lawyer who rips them a new one!

  14. Blogger Judy | 1:52 PM |  

    I'm glad you made that pork tenderloin for me before they threatened to sue. Because man it was good!

    They have turned a pork ally into an enemy.

  15. Anonymous Derek | 1:58 PM |  

    This is probably one of the most ridiculous things I've seen so far this year. I'm not quite sure how they think it infringes on anything (although I can see how they think it's similar, it sort of is)

    Did they sue the makers of Austin Powers because Fat Bastard used the line "Baby..The other other white meat" which definately would cause harm to their slogan, suggesting that babies are good for human consumption.. Gotta stop here, my eyes are rolling too far back into my head to see what I'm typing.

  16. Blogger Cameron | 2:12 PM |  

    I got your back!

  17. Anonymous Michael Clark | 2:21 PM |  

    Well although they do have a trademark right to stop the use of it, it was really stupid how they approached it...

    How about coming up with a shirt that has a picture of a sow on it with little piggies (or babies) all fighting to nurse...

    The above caption could read

    "Patience, I only have two!"

    Might be good for those with triplets or more!!!

  18. Anonymous Anonymous | 2:23 PM |  

    For what it's worth, I sent emails to the Ellen Degeneres show and Oprah describing your predicament and linking to your blog. I really hope someone with clout jumps on this and rocks their world. How AWFUL that babies should eat milk from their mothers, or that mothers and fathers should enjoy all the other aspects of breastfeeding! Gah!!

  19. Anonymous esoomllub | 2:30 PM |  

    I think if they don't back off their idiotic approach, I like the idea of a shirt like "Breastfed babies don't grow up to be porkers". Unless they then hold the trademark for ever word that possibly contains the letters pork. ;)

    Maybe a googlebomb is in order... maybe "bully" or "fetish" given their apparent ignorance with regards to the purpose of your site. I can't imagine the googlebomb filter is flawless yet. And then they could issue a C&D to Google for ranking them for fetish. Now that would be hilarious.

  20. Blogger MamaBean | 2:43 PM |  

    So do you still have any of those t-shirts? Now that their controversial and the subject of a threatened lawsuit I'll be they will sell like hotcakes! :-)

    I can't even believe this is an issue. What a bunch of ignoramuses. I'll write about this on my brand spanking new blog tonight!

  21. Anonymous Anonymous | 2:47 PM |  

    That's so stupid. I can't believe they would care about you selling a T-shirt from your website, especially something as tame as that.

    I never liked pork anyway :P

  22. Blogger John | 2:48 PM |  

    Jennifer, this is incredible. I've emailed the pig board, most of my friends andposted about it at http://wellhuh.blogspot.com/2007/02/pork-board-bullies-breastfeeding.html

    Is it any wonder why people don't like lawyers and big business?

  23. Anonymous Shumina | 3:03 PM |  

    I agree that they're being a bit frivelous. If they've the trademark, however, they do have grounds for legal action. I think you should keep running things as your conscience dictates. If you go to court, so be it. There's no need to let them bully you with just a letter. Let them back up their convictions just as you've already backed your own with action. I'm proud of your movement and wish you the best of luck.

  24. Blogger yahwhooey | 3:04 PM |  

    Pork, the other white lie.

  25. Blogger Jenny | 3:20 PM |  

    The C/D was pretty funny. I'll be emailing them about that ridiculous letter.

    I don't like to see big businesses bullying the little guys. It's such a frivolous claim, but they have the $$$ to take it far.

  26. Blogger The Thinking Southerner | 3:22 PM |  

    Pork, the other white devil.

  27. Anonymous Anonymous | 3:35 PM |  

    Boycott?

    I love bacon, pork chops, ham, etc.

    I think I'm may to have to give it up until this suit is dropped.

  28. Anonymous Bill | 3:50 PM |  

    The National Pork Board is a federally created organization, in which members of the Pork industry are appointed to terms to spend a percentage of the sales of pork products to market the industry.

    It was created under the Pork Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act of 1985 (pdf), and is overseen by the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service.

    The trademark originally belonged to the National Pork Producers Council, but was purchased by the government organized board last year.

    There's a blogger focusing upon US Food Policy who questions many of the aspects of the sale - interesting reading.

    It might be worth sending some letters to some US Representatives and Senators about this, since this is a body that is formed and overseen by the US Government.

  29. Blogger Dennis Crow | 3:58 PM |  

    I recommend that you resist their demand to stop purveying your shirt. First of all, it definitely falls under the umbrella of parody! And since you're not a profit oriented enterprise, they can't claim you're stealing their "asset."
    The 'porker' shirt should be used too. It's actually correct. And their consciousness is definitely in the gutter.
    They give pork a bad name.
    The publicity you could get, sympathy and contributions would all be worth a lawsuit.

  30. Blogger Alan Clifford | 4:06 PM |  

    I sent an email to one of the piggies at pork.org.

    Alan

  31. Blogger Micah | 4:22 PM |  

    Jen, I submitted your story to several of the local televison stations here in DesMoines, Ia which just happens to be where the National Pork Boards headquarters are located. Hopefully they will blow this open and make this a mainstream issue.

    www.kcci.com; www.whotv.com; and The DesMoines Register

  32. Blogger Romie | 4:28 PM |  

    This is just so silly. No matter what it is just silly. I posted something on my blog too, maybe they will hear us if we just keep talking about how silly it all is.

  33. Anonymous women's bags | 4:38 PM |  

    I think that the lawsuit is absolutely ridiculous and that noone would connect the two (even on the off chance that they know about porks copyrighted slogan). But, I think the shirts are gross. Of course I have no problem with breast-feeding, and I have no problem with women feeding in public when other accommodations are not available. But, when they are available, or when no blanket is being used it is probably inappropriate.
    I also don't understand why mothers would want to bring attention to their breasts. Noone wants to be thinking about your breasts, and you probably shouldn't be wearing shirts that make us think about that. It's gross.

  34. Anonymous Anonymous | 4:48 PM |  

    Regarding cafepress, I'm curious as to why they removed it without informing you first. It seems like a gray area to me.

    Also, it seems like it would be similar to the "got milk?" phrase... so those who are just "guessing" if it's a violation please don't remark that they have a right, unless you know for a fact. Let's use facts, please! It's better to educate then to assume.

    I think it's bogus and will be making my voice heard!

    A fellow breastfeeding mother

  35. Anonymous Anonymous | 4:50 PM |  

    I also forgot to mention that I would think that the Diary Board would have more of an issue then the Pork "guys". I mean, it's the other white MILK... go figure!

    Fellow Breatfeeding Mother

  36. Anonymous Spadious Glomperburg | 5:03 PM |  

    I think you should replace that T-shirt with one that says "Boycott Pork". Maybe with a picture of a sow feeding it's piglets.

  37. Anonymous John St.Clair | 5:10 PM |  

    Posted at Build Your Own Arcade Controls -- I hate bullies.

  38. Blogger Michael | 5:14 PM |  

    Wow - they have some nerve. Of course the use of anything for satire is completely legit. But that said, I think there is no way anyone could confuse pork and milk...

    It really astounds me to see such levels of stupidity... I wouldn't worry. Hopefully you have recieved enough publicity to help further your cause a little more.

    Common sense and the law are on your side.

  39. Anonymous Anonymous | 5:17 PM |  

    Even if I'mmore of the father side - I can only support you and the campaign you're moving. To the rest I just would like to say what a bunch of greesy HOgs they are just trying to be evenmore dirtier thznthe creztures they kill for money

  40. Anonymous Anonymous | 5:31 PM |  

    Change the t-shirt to say "The Udder White Milk". Har!

  41. Blogger Charlie | 5:34 PM |  

    You knowingly violated the Pork Board's rights. Then you got caught.

    Grow up.

    You don't appreciate the fact that they didn't send a nice, friendly note before justly defending their rights? Perhaps they didn't appreciate not receieving a friendly little note before having their rights trammeled upon.

    Maybe if you had asked nicely, they would have been ok with it. But you didn't, and now we'll never know. Instead, you knowingly and flagrantly infringed upon their copyright and trademark, and did so in a surreptitious manner by not asking for permission to do so from the rights holder. So maybe the Pork Board decided it was YOU who started down the road to nasty town, and they just were following along.

    What do you think this is, a game? For you its $8. For them, it is literally BILLIONS of dollars they have invested in that mark. With that much money invested, they are going to vociferously and vehemently defend it. Seriously, what did you expect?

    Grow up. That's all I can really say.

  42. Blogger Jennifer | 5:39 PM |  

    LOL... Grow up? You mean grow up and realize that the phrase "the other white milk" is NOT trademarked by the National Pork Board?

    Guess I don't see your point. It's not like I actually used their phrase, their logo or even their font. I simply used a phrase that occurs in English. Just because they use a few of those words in their trademark doesnt mean diddly.

  43. Anonymous Anonymous | 5:44 PM |  

    dont worry Jen, they just dont have anything better to do. their just being "piggish" about breastfeeding humor.

  44. Anonymous Anonymous | 5:51 PM |  

    Hey Chuckie, lemme guess, you're charles @ faegre.com? Go stuff some more bacon down your throat you dope.

  45. Anonymous Anonymous | 5:52 PM |  

    Methinks that Charlie may have some ties with the pork board? GrAsshat...

  46. Blogger Ian McAnerin | 5:52 PM |  

    I just found out that they recently paid $60 Million for that trademark. And now they are making it look bad. Dumb, Dumb, Dumb.

    http://mcanerin.blogspot.com/2007/02/pork-porn-and-shirtless-moms.html

  47. Blogger Lisa-Anne | 6:21 PM |  

    Here's the note I just sent off to the pigs:
    We're banning pork and encouraging everyone we've ever met to do the same until the ridiculous bully of a pork board decides that the only thing tarnishing the good image of pork is the aforementioned pork board! You should be so lucky as to have pork associated with the wholesome, healthful habit of breastfeeding. Every breastfeeding group in the country is going to come down hard on pork, and you're going to be desperately sorry you messed with breastfeeding mommies. As the Public Relations Manager, don't you think you ought to switch tracks quickly?

  48. Anonymous Anonymous | 6:22 PM |  

    I wonder where you got the idea for your slogan?

  49. Blogger Amy M | 6:27 PM |  

    Blogged about it at blogschmog.net. Holy cow, that's hard to believe.

  50. Blogger Justice | 6:34 PM |  

    I'm in.
    http://justiceday.blogspot.com/2007/02/pork-you.html

  51. Anonymous Anonymous | 6:40 PM |  

    I think their claim is that you (or your cause) are profiting from their slogan. It's not the same words as their slogan, but it seems quite obvious that your phrase was inspired or intentionally made to be similar to it. Legally, you can't do that unless it's covered under fair use (parodies are covered). I guess they don't see it as a parody so they're suing. Bullying? Sure. Legal? Yes.

  52. Blogger Kalena Jordan | 6:41 PM |  

    You KNOW that whoever owns that shirt (is there only one?) is one happy purchaser right now. There will probably be people lining up at the door to buy your other shirts as a result of this Jenn. And all thanks to the Pork Board. I might have thought their request was reasonable if people could easily confuse your parody with their catch-phrase and you were selling a related product. But there's no confusing the two. You are promoting a voluntary organization that contributes to the well-being of infants and moms and they are promoting the slaughter of innocent animals. Yet they take offence at YOU! It's priceless. Watch my blog.

  53. Anonymous Anonymous | 6:49 PM |  

    It's on Hyena Cart Forums:
    http://hyenacart.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=24115

  54. Anonymous Anonymous | 6:50 PM |  

    Why Do You Think They Call Them PIGS!

  55. Blogger Christian | 6:54 PM |  

    The only thing they did is make you famous. I had never heard of this blog before, but I'm here now and I have to say that I'm supporting your site!

  56. Blogger Yodawg | 6:58 PM |  

    Support, you got it. Let's make this the "Shirt Heard 'Round the World" ... (can we say that?)

    I'm speachless, this is downright silly.

    http://www.shopforclothes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=289

  57. Anonymous Anonymous | 7:19 PM |  

    Send a letter back to them and tell them that you will concede to their demands and instead will start selling t-shits with the slogans "pork industry hates motherhood" and "pork is for pigs" and "pork - cook it really well or it will kill you"


    Pork is vile, and the pork industry is even more vile. It isn't a white meat (like chicken and turkey), it's a red meat that turns grey, not white when cooked. Their slogan erronously compares white fowl meats to pig meat implying that pork is equally as healty as fowl, which pork is not. "pork the other white lie"

    You could start another section on your website "boycott pork"

  58. Blogger Kalena Jordan | 7:25 PM |  

    Been there, done that, blogged it: http://www.searchenginecollege.com/2007/02/us-pork-board-offended-by-breastfeeding.html and bought the t-shirt.

  59. Blogger V | 7:27 PM |  

    Wow, Jenn, I am utterly shocked about this. I have nothing to add other than my support. Keep it up! Somehow they found you and the GOOD message you are sending with your blog is getting out!

  60. Anonymous Pete | 7:29 PM |  

    Charlie, you grow up :) And get off your high horse.

    Have you ever gone 1 mp/h over the speed limit? Better go hand yourself in then, given your obvious dedication to 'the law'.

    a) they may not have a case
    b) even if they do have a case, then I think they've over-reacted.

    It's bullying behavior.

  61. Blogger RegDCP | 7:30 PM |  

    I think this deserves a nice new tshirt.

    Boycott Pork at the top.. A picture of a pig with a red circle/slash and a link to this page.

    Good luck.

    Reg

  62. Blogger tiny-dog | 7:43 PM |  

    I do think the Pork Board messed with the wrong person :-)

  63. Blogger dirk | 7:43 PM |  

    nice shirts..


    cheers,
    Agloco

  64. Anonymous Anonymous | 7:54 PM |  

    Ironically, Faegre & Benson LLP claim to do a lot of Pro-Bono work themselves. Maybe lawyering works something like the 80:20 rule - you can be a prick 80% of the time if you do good things 20% of the time. Not that defending a client's property zealously is a bad thing of itself, but I don't see any dilution or confusion that would substantiate their claim. Of course, the system is set up to punish those who don't have the money to defend themselves, but from a common sense standpoint I agree 100% that you should be fine.

    Good luck, and get the word out. When companies and their council get stupid and greedy, and abuse their power, that's when popular opinion needs to be used against them punitively.

  65. Anonymous Anonymous | 8:01 PM |  

    Hey, it's LISmama from CBC. Just wanted to lend my support on here! Man, this makes me want to have another kid just so I can go nurse it in front of a pig farm.

  66. Blogger alimum | 8:01 PM |  

    I guess I can see how they may consider it a trademark infringement. However, it seems a bit, um, Goliath-like for them to come down on you like this and I found the suggestion that your shirt (and advocacy) would tarnish their image to be offensive.

    I blogged about this at http://alimum.blogspot.com/2007/02/pigs.html

  67. Blogger dhmspector | 8:39 PM |  

    You should file a complaint with the state bar where ever those lawyers are located. Misuse of the legal system to harass people engaged in a lawful act such as your parody is in this way is a pretty serious ethics violation. You should ask that their law license(s) be suspended pending a formal investigation...

  68. Blogger Norma | 8:40 PM |  

    What absolute idiocy!
    Clearly, what they are saying just isn't kosher!

    spreading the word at
    http://sareena99.livejournal.com

  69. Anonymous Kevin Wimberly | 8:48 PM |  

    Apparently you aren't the only "other white milk" on cafepress.

    http://www.cafepress.com/totrocket/1177665

    Anyway, I blogged this on my law school blog.

    http://kwimberly.wordpress.com/

  70. Blogger Caleb Eaton | 8:54 PM |  

    The latest issue of Business 2.0 contains their 7th annual "101 Dumbest Moments in Business." I hope the National Pork Board and this story make next year's issue.

  71. Anonymous Anonymous | 8:58 PM |  

    I'm fairly certain you CAN use your phrase "The Other White Milk" as a form of satire, which is perfectly legal. Otherwise, we'd never get away with making fun of anything. You see "Got Milk?" spoofs everywhere, and they can't be touched by the Dairy big wigs.

  72. Anonymous Kevin Wimberly | 9:07 PM |  

    P.S.

    You should upload your C&D to Chilling Effects. They are exactly the group to look at this for you.

    http://www.chillingeffects.org

  73. Blogger Jennifer | 9:11 PM |  

    Kevin,

    I'm trying...I don't have Acrobat, so I couldn't get the text pulled out of the file. If I can get someone to do it (someone's working on it) then I'm going to upload it. That's one of the first sites that was suggested to me.

    Thanks!

  74. Blogger Mama Chaos | 9:21 PM |  

    Here's another hit for this, an article on AC.

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/138930/national_pork_board_threatens_to_sue.html

  75. Blogger JoeDuck | 9:24 PM |  

    Shame on the porkers! I like Danny's idea of a link support network. Good luck, Jen.

  76. Blogger tamera | 9:37 PM |  

    You've got my support. What a bunch of hogwash ; ) Or, should I say milkwash? At times I get confused and cut my children's milk, instead of the pork on their plate. PLEASE!! (actually, we don't like pork)
    Keep it up!

  77. Anonymous Summer | 9:38 PM |  

    http://www.summerlouise.com/blog.html A blog entry just for you! :)

  78. Blogger Darlene | 9:43 PM |  

    Jennifer,
    I was really flabbergasted when I read your blog. Got my hackles up and made my fingers start flying. (there's a visual for you!)
    Here's the email I just fired off to the oink-board. Tomorrow, I'll do more....
    sorry this is long but I had to get this off my chest..and if you saw me, you know that's a lot of 'getting off' to do(oops...that didn't come out quite right!)

    **********
    Email title: An org's goodwill is a measurable asset and yours is shrinking!
    ---------
    Greetings,
    It's terribly sad to find out that your organization has decided that it is imperiled by the sale of t-shirts on an online site (TheLactivist.com) and feels it must defend itself by threatening legal action....against a woman whose entire being is devoted to her family first and supporting breastfeeding women second. One woman!!

    I would venture to say that somehow your Board members missed an absolutely wonderful PR opportunity to turn this woman's shirts into a positive for your industry. Instead, you have raised the ire of women (and men!) all over the US and perhaps the world because your group has begun to bully a woman who has the reputation of being supportive of women, and of healthy lifestyles. For one thing, the breastfeeding community does not associate 'the other white milk' with pork!! We associate it with cow's milk!! What does pork have to do with milk? Not many of us have ever had pig milk...but we have had cow's milk. The t-shirt slogan is nothing more than a reminder that cow's milk is for baby calves and human milk is for human babies. Think of the irony of that. If anyone should feel threatened, it's the dairy industry or maybe even the infant formula industry. Pork??? Not even close! Good grief!

    If the statement that your bullying has raised the ire of women all over the country seems overstated, monitor her site for awhile and read what is being said about your industry. There are extremely negative writings all over the Internet already and Ms. Laycock only posted her request for legal assistance in the past few hours. Your 'goodwill' is not only shrinking, it has gone viral and it is literally fried! (sorry, I couldn't resist the pun). But there's no humor in this.

    Remember who buys the groceries in nearly 90% of the households in the US. You just started a fight with them! Is that how your industry members--pork suppliers--expect you to represent their interests?

    It's going to be interesting, seeing how many t-shirts pop up now that say "Breastfed babies don't grow up to become porkers!" That association will be sooo positive for the pork industry, won't it?

    You have an opportunity to fix the public relations nightmare that you have just brought upon yourselves. You can have someone simply retract the threat, say it was all a big misunderstanding, find a way to come out in support of breastfeeding mothers, and find more constructive ways to represent your members.

    Do not be fooled into thinking that the publicity this will stir up will be positive in any way. Another thing this Board would be wise to remember: women do NOT forgive easily and women hold the purse strings (literally and figuratively). If you listen carefully, you can hear those purses snapping shut in reaction to anything made from pigs!!

    Signed: Disappointed and willing to join with my grocery-buying, purse-holding, breast feeding, chicken-eating Internet sisters in protest of the Pork Board's bullying tactics.

  79. Blogger Micky | 10:18 PM |  

    It's up at www.mochamilk.blogspot.com too. I do think if you take it to court, you should go the parody angle. They can't touch you on that but I am not a lawyer. The whole thing ticks me off. I can't believe how angry you must be.

    Ridiculous!

    Of course you were promoting for other than infant consumption...toddler consumption, young child consumption, other people's sick babies consumption...oh the horror!

    Micky
    www.mochamilk.blogspot.com

  80. Blogger canal | 10:18 PM |  

    I just want to say good luck with your battle with the "other white menaces". My wife and I back you and your cause 100% - both of our children were breastfed well into the toddler stages and we feel they are much better off because of it. I'll get my wife to blog about this on her site, too. She'll be all over this when she hears about it.

  81. Blogger Ericka | 10:27 PM |  

    I found this on a friend's livejournal. She works in PR. (not for pork, just in general)

    http://ta2dmrm8.livejournal.com/218017.html?nc=4

  82. Blogger Micky | 10:34 PM |  

    Okay, it is so wrong that they took down your shirts at Cafe Press and not other people's shirts with the same slogan.

    I have an idea. Let's ALL put up a Cafe Press site with the slogan and see if they try to take ALL of us to court.

    That would be funny.
    Micky
    www.mochamilk.blogspot.com

  83. Anonymous Anonymous | 10:46 PM |  

    Pork Board address:
    http://www.pork.org/ContactUs/default.aspx

    Attorney:
    http://www.faegre.com/lawyer_bio.aspx?pid=10771

    For Charlie and other laypersons who have feelings (but not opinions, because opinions are interpretations of fact): educate yourselves BEFORE posting:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark_dilution

  84. Anonymous errrjam | 12:24 AM |  

    "The original white milk."

  85. Blogger Jenni | 12:31 AM |  

    Did they have anything to say about the "My Kid's No Weaner" shirt? Cause you know they're pork too. i guess that's the other red meat?

  86. Anonymous Anonymous | 12:35 AM |  

    Just another Lactavist/Breastfeeding Momma trying to give you support! You know i say go for it and stick to your guns....you did nothing of the sort "violating" their trademark unless they've trade marked "the other white".......please keep us updated.....

    AND CHARLIE??? Obviously NOT a breastfeeding Mom.....YOU grow up and stop nosing around lactivist sites sicko!

  87. Anonymous Anonymous | 1:21 AM |  

    I have forwarded a link to a bf friendly attorney. We'll see what she has to say. She's a veg too.

  88. Anonymous Pete Wailes | 1:29 AM |  

    You can bet this is going on my blog and in my newsletter later, that's for sure.

    Darn sods. People have no sense of humour.

  89. Anonymous Anonymous | 2:16 AM |  

    "Anyone know a good pro bono lawyer that's sympathetic to the breastfeeding cause?"

    Just buy $100 of a trademark attorney's time for starters before asking for freebie legal help. You may learn a bit about trademark law that will explain their actions. (They just sold the trademark a while back, and they may be contractually obligated to protect it in this way until the transfer goes through.) I suspect they couldn't care less about breastfeeding one way or the other.

  90. Blogger Maria | 2:17 AM |  

    Count me in as well . I blogged about it here:

    http://dutchphd.wordpress.com/2007/02/02/pork-bully/

    I hope this thing gets lots of publicity!

  91. Anonymous AJ | 2:39 AM |  

    Until the National Pork Board loosens up, I am going on a self-imposed moratorium. No more pig milk for me!

    Pig milkers have no sense of humor.

  92. Anonymous -dsr- | 2:46 AM |  

    Sigh. This sort of thing happens all the time.

    It's not trademark infringement. You are not selling a product which is confusingly similar to pork. You also have a potential fair use right.

    Why did the lawyers write you the letter, then?

    Because they can charge their client money for it, and there's the slight possibility that you might end up with a lawsuit, in which case they get to charge their client money for representing them in court. If they win, they get paid. If they lose, they still get paid.

  93. Blogger David | 2:49 AM |  

    I live in the UK. I am ever so slightly aware of the slogan, but outside of the USA I don't recall that this slogan rings the same bells.

    Your site targets people all around the world, you made $8 and I am forwarding this to a contact at CNN as it is beyond madness! This is certainly not a part of trademark protection and you will win any case that may come forward.

    Good luck with everything!
    David

    P.s, I am going to post this on the MIKA fanclub boards for you as well which should start lots more action for you.

  94. Blogger DLPerry | 2:52 AM |  

    I haven't breastfed anyone in over 20 years - but I did at one time, and I've NEVER met anyone who had any problem at all differentiating bewtween milk (of any color) and pork. I'm with you sista!. This is just ridiculous.

    Sounds like that Big Pork bunch was NOT breastfed as infants. ;)

    Didn't Oprah have a somewhat similar problem with the cattle Industry? Maybe you should contact her - she could give you some pointers I bet - and may even be in a position to help.

    Maybe we should all buy a t-shirt - put me down for one!

  95. Anonymous Anonymous | 2:53 AM |  

    Ohh its about to be allll over opendiary too. Fight the good fight girlfriend!

    -Anna

  96. Anonymous Melonie Taylor | 3:58 AM |  

    I wrote a letter to the lawyer, she is the one after all who attacked your morality with her comment about breastmilk "beyond just human consumption" I doubt the "Pork Board" thought that one up...I am sending this letter to everyone I know

  97. Anonymous Anonymous | 4:07 AM |  

    I think your shirts are really in poor taste. (and yes, I am a former breastfeeding mother) It's not doing our cause any good to create potentially offensive shirts. Yes, you did get your idea from the pork ad and you probably have created a legal mess for yourself.

  98. Blogger Carrie Lauth | 4:08 AM |  

    I'll be spreadin' the word for you Jennifer. Of all the silly things...

  99. Anonymous Strange Progress | 4:15 AM |  

    Great to see you've kicked up a storm here, its always good when bloggers can actually make a difference.

    Good luck in your continued bully-bashing ;)

    (And to the Heavyweight Pork Board - bet you didn't see this coming did you?! Ha ha haaa! Who knows how many tons of pork will now be left on supermarket shelves?!)

  100. Anonymous Strange Progress | 4:19 AM |  

    Oh, just another quick point - if you haven't done so already, you could likely drum up some attention from mainstream media with the whole "angle" of this story...

    Fire off your full rundown to them, and perhaps drop press contact details into your story to get more people telling the TV/newspapers about your story. I bet you could get coverage. After all, the general populous likes a "david vs goliath" story, and the mainstream media likes to cover what the general populous likes :)

  101. Anonymous Nicolette | 4:28 AM |  

    Jennifer:

    I just aroused a bunch of men with my "Why Breasts? Why Now?" post over at Man-o-pause.com.

    You have my sincere support.

  102. Blogger Brandman | 4:33 AM |  

    I know a little bit about these things from experience. You will want to avoid the lawsuit because of the cost of litigation and the great risk you face should you lose. May I suggest taking this to the media? Write to your local and national news stations. Bring it to Hannitty & Combes. Maybe some public outcry will motivate the Plaintiff to rescind their letter?

  103. Blogger Peter Hosey | 4:59 AM |  

    This story has also been posted to reddit (which is how I found it):

    http://reddit.com/info/12eat/comments

  104. Anonymous Anonymous | 5:00 AM |  

    I swear.. If they were worried about the shirt getting publicity and selling before, they should really be worried now. I'd write them a big thank you for all the exposure they're giving to this site! For them to imply that you're trying to sell breastmilk for something other than infant consumtion is just crazy. What sane person would read those slogans and think, "Man, I really want a glass of breastmilk.." GIVE ME A BREAK! I would keep the shirt up and selling until they actually proved something with their suit. (Aside from proving that their arrogant asses)

  105. Blogger JeanneS | 5:16 AM |  

    Nice Work Darlene!
    Jen, I am sending the link to you site to the Today Show!
    Warm Regards and Best Wishes,
    Jeanne
    We are also banning pork and telling everyone we know about this!

  106. Blogger biggroovy | 5:59 AM |  

    I agree these folks are not bright. My e-mail has been sent and I will bet on a slow news day this story could get coverage; especially in California!

    I hope we can wake them up and show them the lost opportunity.

    Cheers,

    Bryant Keefe

  107. Anonymous E. Blakely | 6:00 AM |  

    Of all the simple minded...
    You can't find a healthier food for an infant or match its benefits for new moms. Its the only way to go. I wish you the best with your site and endeavors.

    I called and left a message on one of the phone numbers.

    Time to make comments about Lawyers going hog wild for lawsuits.

  108. Blogger Kind of Crunchy Mama | 6:06 AM |  

    Blogged my support:

    http://kindofcrunchymama.blogspot.com/2007/02/pork-bullies.html

  109. Anonymous Anonymous | 6:16 AM |  

    I do agree that Big Pork is being overzealous. However, don't blame the poor associate who was forced to write the Cease & Desist letter. She's been practicing for 3 years, and was certainly assigned this task by a partner who should know better.

    Client control is important in the legal profession, and I truly hope that the public relations backlash from this works in your favor.

    My firm has blown through its pro-bono budget three times over, but you probably have a good defense. I posted your plight on a couple of newsgroups, and I hope that someone eventually is able to come to your aid. I presume that someone will.

    Marc J. Randazza.

  110. Anonymous Mike | 6:32 AM |  

    "Milk" it Jen. Let the story work for you, get some media involved.

    I hope they don't come after me for owning porktritip dot com.

    Best of luck!

  111. Blogger tanya@motherwearblog | 6:33 AM |  

    Here's my post in support:

    http://breastfeeding.blog.motherwear.com/2007/02/the_lactivist_t.html

    - Tanya (Motherwear Blog)

  112. Blogger Phelan | 6:34 AM |  

    I have posted it here;Bookcrossing chitchat Forum

    And will blog about it soon.

  113. Anonymous Anonymous | 6:41 AM |  

    Sent a letter to all the pork people suggesting that they make a sizable donation to your milk bank! Told them until they do so I will not buy any pork products. These idiots need to get educated....

    Tracey from MA

  114. Anonymous Nina | 6:41 AM |  

    I've never even heard of this website before someone from my parenting group posted a link. You're getting great publicity. Anyway, I just sent the following short and to the point email to the Pork Board:

    As a breastfeeding mother and the person in our household who buys our groceries, I will be refraining from the purchase of any pork products until the ridiculous lawsuit against TheLactivist.com is withdrawn.

  115. Anonymous Anonymous | 6:42 AM |  

    Pork is not a white meat. I think that the pork board should be held accountable for misrepresenting their product. In other words they are trying to ride on the coattails of the healthier aspects of white meat. this should be stopped. Perhaps the public should demand that this "pork board", sponsered in part by our government cease the misrepresentation of their product and loose their right to use theis phrase in any of their advertising.

  116. Anonymous Anonymous | 6:49 AM |  

    Posted on www.parenthood.com

  117. Blogger NYCMom | 6:52 AM |  

    So does that mean they sent their lawyers after Mike Myers when he said the "other other white meat" referring to babies in a major film??!!(After all, there ARE cannibals in the world who might REALLY compete for alternative meat!)? You should get in touch with the movie people and find out...then get a good lawyer and get on good morning America...pork them!

  118. Anonymous Anonymous | 6:56 AM |  

    I totally agree with the Pork board. If you had non-naughty shirts, and just stuck to the "Other white Milk" which is a tenuous connection at best to a joke. It depends on their slogan to be amusing, which it barely is.

    They don't want to be connected to a political cause that could backfire and cause them negative publicity. Why not just stick with your own slogans? It's nothing against you or breastfeeding (I do it myself) so PLEASE STOP being so reactionary. Look at it from their prospective. They spent millions promoting that slogan and here you come, some random person, co-opting it for your own use, and linking it with a political cause that involves boobs. Give me a break.

  119. Anonymous Tessa | 6:58 AM |  

    Jennifer,

    Best of luck with your fight. Their chutzpah just isn't kosher.

    I've added my two cents (though in Canadian currency) here:
    Breastfeeding blogger sends Big Pork squealing.

    Best to you and yours,
    Tessa
    --
    Musings from the Boob Juice Factory

  120. Blogger aunt mommy | 7:15 AM |  

    I can see why, from a techical standpoint, it could be considered by a stringent point of view to be infringing on their trademark. And to maintain that trademark, they must defend it (hence the cease and desist letter). Not that I agree with their point of view that your promotion of natural foods is contrary to their promotion of what we hope is natural pork.

    However, I do to take issue with your take on the slogan - I'd say breastmilk isn't "the other white milk" for several reasons:

    1. It's the original white milk - before I ever drank cow or rice or goat milk, I drank breastmilk. I may have had some commercial formula too, but I'm not entirely positive, probably just the goat milk formula compounded to my needs.

    2. Maybe I'm a strange bird, but my milk isn't all that white. It's been white, off white, yellow, reddish, and even blue (that freaked me out the first time).

    Good luck. Sounds like it is time to put in a call to the ACLU.

  121. Anonymous I No Longer Eat Pig... | 7:20 AM |  

    Your non-profit's paraody, "the other white milk", of the old milk slogan, "got milk", is being used specifically for educational purposes and any company, or association, that pays a lawyer to fight you on this is getting taken.

    The pig industry may actually want to consider suing the lawyer that wrote the C&D, considering how tarnished they have made the pig industry look and the huge profits they are likely to be loosing.

    When it comes to choosing between Breastfeeding or pig, my family will no longer be buying pork. I'm certain once we don't eat it for awhile, we won't ever want it again anyways...

  122. Blogger Jennifer | 7:22 AM |  

    The original white milk...oh I like that.....

    ;)

  123. Anonymous Anonymous | 7:27 AM |  

    Sorry, I'm on the side of the marketing board.

    You either knew or 'should have known' (that legal catch-phrase) that you were taking advantage of the popularity of someone else's work.

    Granted the one sentence of the letter is pretty stupid, but other than that all they are doing is preventing you from infringing and diluting their trademark.

    As for the poster who wrote that she can't see "how they can even compare the two phrases", this is another case of you "should" be able to see what is plain to any other reasonable and competent adult.

  124. Anonymous Eddie | 7:32 AM |  

    We have a saying here around the house: "People are stupid!" And few exceed the stupidity on display by the ignoramuses that would confuse breast milk with pork. Jeeze, that would be like the Milk Advisory Board going after my old band, Chronic, for selling shirts that read, "Got Chronic?" I can see it now, people saying, "Oops, ya mean this is a JOINT officer? I thought it was MILK?" Again, people are stupid. And attorneys are the bullies of the Real World. They don't have to be right, just have the ability to intimidate the little guys into bending under their threats. Cheers.

  125. Blogger earthymommy | 7:33 AM |  

    Jennifer, I can't even believe that things are coming to this. I found this blog through TBW and was most shocked as I read. Talk about big business making an... u know.... out of itself!! Sounds to me that whom ever is thinking that breastfeeding advocacy is trying to say we are fetish people....is sick and twisted in himself!!!!! I send you much love and many good thoughts and kudos!!!!

    I might have to buy a few of those tee's to wear as I protest the pork case at my local grocery store!!
    HUMAN MILK FOR HUMAN BABIES!!!!

  126. Blogger Mojavi | 7:34 AM |  

    I can't believe them... I have called all the numbers you posted.... I am no longer eatting pork! Screw them!

  127. Blogger Mojavi | 7:36 AM |  

    i will never eat pork until they make a public aapology. They can't coin the phrase "the other white" maybe a logo or a name but not a whole freaking sentence!

  128. Anonymous Frank | 7:40 AM |  

    "Your non-profit's paraody, "the other white milk", of the old milk slogan, "got milk""

    You're kidding, right?

    You honestly believe that "the other white milk" is NOT related to the "the other white meat" (even tho it differs only in three letters), but rather is a parody of "Got milk?"

    Honestly? Please tell me how it is a parody?

    Here - an apt parody of "Got milk?" for your purposes might be "Got milk!"

  129. Anonymous Jolie | 7:41 AM |  

    I sent a tip to the Drudge Report. Hopefully, he will post it.

  130. Anonymous Anonymous | 7:44 AM |  

    Jennifer,
    I agree with Womens bags & Charlie.
    Give us a break. Why do you breastfeeding Mother's want to bring attention to your breasts. Breastfeeding should be a private matter between you and your child. I have never understood why some women want to show off their breasts in public while feeding their child. The only answer I can come up with is that, that peticular woman gets her jollies off by having strange men looking at her boobs while her child sucks on them. It is totally disgusting.

    I breast fed and I never did so in public. It makes people uncomfortable for one thing, and rightfully so. It is uncomfortable for me when I see women doing that in public. Plus I had enough respect for myself and my child to do the breastfeeding in private, and not expose by breast to anyone. I don't have that need to get off on other men looking at my exposed breast while breastfeeding my child which is a personal time with my child.

    As far as the T-shirts, totally and udderly disgusting. Once again why are you bringing attention to the breasts. Don't tell me you are promoting breastfeeding, because all women know about that. We don't need to see it advertised on a disgusting stupid t-shirt.

    You did take their slogan and I hope they totally sink you for it. You are a very sick individual with a need to expose your breasts and others as well. If that is the case go to playboy.

    You are SICK SICK SICK & Disgusting.....

  131. Anonymous Anonymous | 7:45 AM |  

    I eat a lot pork. I think I won't be eating any more though. A related story. Some years ago, Coca Cola tried to trademark the color red. Coke sales fell off for quite a while.

    - lexi

  132. Blogger Nathania | 7:46 AM |  

    The irony being of course, that their slogan "the other white meat" is based on their competition with chicken. Oh the hypocrisy. Stand strong!

  133. Anonymous Anonymous | 7:50 AM |  

    My wife is currently breastfeeding our daughter, so first of all, no comments about the "sicko" men hanging around here. I've got cred.

    I support breastfeeding, but I fall on the side of the Pork Board on this, and I'll explain why.

    It's not about them being scum, or pork not being a white meat or them being overzealous. It's certainly not about breastfeeding - so all you folks that are so blinded by the cause should really try to step back and look at this objectively. Support of breastfeeding is great - support of violating trademark law because you support breastfeeding is not.

    Jen, you did violate trademark law. Whether or not you can get a judge to side with you will likely depend on how good a lawyer you can get, because we all know that it's not the law that matters these days, it's the lawyer. Still, according to the law, you did violate the mark holder's rights.

    You took their very famous slogan and changed one word - and not a word that changed the substance of the slogan. Yours is still recognizable as being derived from theirs. Whether or not you try the parody defense (which doesn't always - or usually, these days - work), you cannot deny that your slogan is derived from theirs. Derivative works are *not* protected under the law.

    And that's all it really comes down to. You might not like the tone of the letter you got, but these people don't have the time nor inclination to send you a nice personalized "hi, how you doing, would you please mind not violating our rights" letter. They do send form letters, because that's standard practice. Haven't you ever gotten a form letter from anyone else? It's not odd, nor is it anything new.

    You mentioned that you didn't use their font - doesn't matter. You mentioned that you didn't use their "logo", which doesn't even make sense because there is no logo. They have trademarked a phrase. You mentioned that you didn't use their phrase, but you *did*. You used it when you created your design and put it on a shirt. Like I said, derivative work.

    The amount of money you've made doesn't matter. You made 8 bucks on it, and while that is a very small amount to you, it's 8 bucks that you shouldn't have made in the first place because of the trademark violation. That argument leads one to believe that you think there should be a line drawn somewhere, like, if you make less than $1000 on a product that breaks the law, that should be okay. It's not. You're not allowed to make *any* money from someone else's work.

    Your slogan is a derivative work of a trademarked phrase. That much is clear. It doesn't matter that it has nothing to do with pork. Your slogan is designed to make people think of the pork slogan - to make them think, "the other white *milk*! oh, i get it, it's like the pork thing, i remember that". Basically, that's what happens, if not really consciously. You made a connection between your products and the trademarked slogan that can't be denied, and THAT is what the Pork Board has a problem with.

    Trademark law exists to prevent people from cashing in on other people's work. That's it in a nutshell. That's what you - good intentions aside - were doing.

    It's just a shame that they didn't write the C&D in an effective way.

  134. Anonymous Megan Crow | 7:51 AM |  

    This is ridiculous! I read about it on The Green Mommy's Blog...so I continued on and posted it on my blog. Good luck!

  135. Anonymous Tamar Weinberg | 7:52 AM |  

    Either I'm out of the loop or they do a lousy job of protecting (and promoting) their trademark, because I never heard of "the other white meat" before. Maybe it's also because I don't eat pork. I would have been inclined to guess it was a "Got Milk" parody too. (Now that's a slogan people recognize in everyday life!)

    Their trademark is for "the other white meat," not "the other white [insert any term here]". I wonder what would happen if the SEO community started making shirts that said "The other white hat." (The pork industry wouldn't even get it.)

    You have my support, Jen.

  136. Blogger Jennifer | 7:52 AM |  

    You know...you may be on to something there with the playboy comment...

    I hear they have good articles there...

    ;) Anyone wanna pitch them the story?

  137. Blogger Emily C | 7:55 AM |  

    Sounds to me like you're fine not infringing on the trademark if it bugs them, but would prefer not being bullied by some nasties.

    My support to you. But I don't buy pork, anyway. Do you KNOW how bad that stuff is for you? Any and every toxin they ingest is sitting right there in their nasty little fat waiting for us to eat it.

  138. Anonymous Anonymous | 8:04 AM |  

    "They don't have to be right, just have the ability to ..."

    Apparently you don't understand what is happening here. They do have the right to demand that other parties not infringe on their trademark. Without the right, there would be no ability.

    I could demand Lativist stop selling any of their other t-shirts - but I have no right to make Lactivist do so.

    That's why Lactivist took the shirts from the market - because they or their lawyers recognize that the Pork Board does have this right and could enforce their rights under the law.

    Not only do they have a right, they have a duty to demand you cease infringement.

    A duty? How so?

    If they don't protect their copyright from your use, they cannot demand that anyone else not use it.

    Case of Arrow Shirts vs. the Pork Board.

    Board says: They are selling products and making profit under the slogan "Arrow - the other white shirt."

    Arrow says: "They let other people do it."

    Board says "Yeah, but..."

    Court says: If you don't vigorously protect your trademark, you lose the RIGHT to protect it at all. You cannot pick and choose when something is your exclusive property. It either is exclusive or it isn't.

  139. Anonymous Frank | 8:11 AM |  

    One on the idea that the Pork Board has over-reacted to your actions.

    They have asserted their legal rights and asked you to cease using a derivation of their intellectual property.

    They didn't sue, they didn't demand the disgorgment of all monies made from sales of the shirts.

    The reaction of readers:

    'I will punish them economically as severely as I can.'

    I'm confused - which side is over-reacting?

  140. Anonymous Anonymous | 8:14 AM |  

    FYI:
    For all you women that think that you should breastfeed in public to expose your swollen breasts, there is no need to do that when you can pump it out and put it in a bottle.
    There are a lot of women that use this method, so that when they are out in public there is no exposing the breast to anyone. But for some women the bottled breastmilk won't do, because they have this fetish for exposing their breasts to all the men around, as she gets turned on by it. Please don't deny this ladies...I am a breastfeeding Mom who does use the bottled breastmilk when I know that I will be out in public or at someone else's house.
    You see I have no desire to expose my breast in public like some women do and they have the gall to say it is in the best interest of my child...give me a stinking break.

  141. Anonymous Anonymous | 8:14 AM |  

    This might clear some things up.

    Where did you get the idea for your slogan "the other white milk"?

  142. Blogger Ward | 8:16 AM |  

    This is probably the best thing to happen to the cause! Turning this into an opportunity to raise awareness further is genius.

    Go after Hormel, Swift, etc. as well. Apply pressure till they squeal! Ha!

  143. Blogger jack | 8:19 AM |  

    I wrote the pork board. Until they withdraw the lawsuit they can eat 'the other white meat'. I won't be.

  144. Anonymous Anonymous | 8:20 AM |  

    "no one would connect the two"

    You don't think so?

    Since this has been a nationwide advertising campaign of the Pork Board for many years, we could assume that many people are familiar with the phrase.

    (Those who claim parody support this assumption; one cannot parody something that no one is aware of).

    So we could make that assumption. But let's say you were not aware of it. Read the following:

    "The other white meat"

    Now, read this following:

    "The other white milk"

    Do you see any connection at all between the two phrases?

    Do you see how the other 100 million or more people who have heard or read the phrase "The other white meat" might also see some connection?

  145. Anonymous Art Ross | 8:23 AM |  

    I had a similar issue on Cafe Press. I had a shirt I designed for a friend who was going through chemotherapy and was amused when told that she was she was to be quarantined because the chemicals in her body were a hazard to others. I designed a shirt with the bio-hazard symbol and the phrase "Caution! Pissing me off could be bio-hazardous to your health." I then (2 years & one shirt later) got a nasty-gram telling me that some company was about to launch a clothing line called Cautionwear and hat I was in violation. Since I didn't really need more shirts, I dropped it. A year later the Cautionwear website is still a big blank page with no product...

  146. Anonymous Paul | 8:26 AM |  

    How about coming out with a new shirt, "The white milk for babies, not for porkers." Pork chops are off my list until they make a donation to Mother's Milk Bank.

  147. Anonymous Anonymous | 8:30 AM |  

    Commenter 129 spelled utterly wrong in a kind of funny way considering this is a blog about breast feeding....

  148. Anonymous the SmockLady | 8:40 AM |  

    First, to Mrs. Breastfeedingin Anonymous at 8:14. Originally I thought about ignoring you because your comment was not worth the time to respond to. You need to grow up and mature a little I think. It's not a fetish of any kind! I feel sorry for you that the way you think about the breast and breastfeeding in public is this way. I feel sorry for you that you have bought into such a society ridden thought about the breast and that you think all women who want to nurture their babies in this way must have some sexual implication for them.

    NOT all women can pump and put milk in a bottle. I am currently nursing my 6th baby and I can pump all day long and not get a drop! Don't tell me it's my pump - I have been through many to find one that would work this time. My sister-in-law had the same situation with each one of her children. I refuse to give my child formula in a blottle just because I can't put breastmilk in a bottle. My breast work just fine to feed my child. (Mary didn't have bottles or Gerber when Jesus was a baby.)

    Jen, I'm sorry this is happening and I'm disgusted by the situation. As angry as I am at the pork people I am also angry at Cafe Press. I know what you said about the whole shirt thing for you, but I can't believe they took that shirt down before you ever knew about it. I should think that they ought to notify you or let you know first. so did they get a threat too?

    Remember this: big companies don't always win. AOL tried to sue over the use of the term "You've got mail" and they LOST. They were not allowed to claim the sole use of the words, "You've got mail."

    Keep your chin up.

  149. Anonymous Anonymous | 8:43 AM |  

    Wow. This whole story almost seems like a joke news item from The Onion. They think you're promoting breast-feeding to non-infants?!! They're the ones with the warped minds. They should be pleased that their slogan has entered popular discourse so successfully that it has become the subject of parody. They should be proud that they are helping to support breast-feeding.

  150. Anonymous Melonie Taylor | 8:44 AM |  

    Hey sent this to Oprah also..maybe other people have too. I would love to see them explain on national television exactly what they were trying to insinuate with their comment about what you are trying to promote.

  151. Anonymous Anonymous | 8:56 AM |  

    Jennifer,

    Ignore the litigeous pork morons and those very few vindictive blogging bastards who try to justify such stupidity. You have already won!

    To Women's Bags, Charlie, etc., Get a life between the lot of you! You must have been bottle-fed by SS nannies to get that angry over the natural function of God-given breasts.

    My full support!

  152. Blogger Summer | 9:00 AM |  

    Ooooh! I hope this does go to court, so you can make them look like total idiots! They are being so ridiculous.

  153. Anonymous Anonymous | 9:04 AM |  

    I agree. Boycott pork. Who needs to support the sales of a bully!

  154. Anonymous Baby Matthew | 9:06 AM |  

    Posted on Bully Pork Makes Me Sick

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

  155. Anonymous Anonymous | 9:08 AM |  

    Let's say there was no trademarked slogan "The other white meat."

    Let's say that Lactivist developed the slogan "The other white milk" whole cloth, trademarked it and used it very successfully for a decade to promote breastfeeding.

    Now let's say Silk or Lactaid decided to market their product with the slogan "The other white milk".

    They do not compete with you - you are not selling any milk or milk substitute. Nobody is going to confuse breast feeding and a milk substitute made from a legume.

    Would that be okay, a "fair use"?

  156. Anonymous Anonymous | 9:22 AM |  

    "I'm fairly certain you CAN use your phrase "The Other White Milk" as a form of satire, which is perfectly legal"

    You are absolutely right.

    And if lactivist was using the phrase as a form of satire, they would be in their rights.

    However, they are not. they are using it as a familiar marketing phrase to sell t-shirts.

    Unfortunately for them, they got the idea for it from someone who had already trademarked the clever marketing phrase "The other white M...", someone who spent lots of time and money putting the rhythm and sound of this phrase into the consciousness of America.

    It is undeniable that lactivision felt that t-shirts bearing the altered slogan would sell based on the familiarity of the public with the words, rhythm and sound of the trademark.

    Like it was suggested, try "Got Milk!" and see how understanding the Milk Board is.

  157. Anonymous Megan Crow | 9:30 AM |  

    I know that some of you may side with the National Pork Board, and I know we all have our differences/disagreements. And that's fine. But at least don't leave an anonymous post about it! If you want to say something be man enough to put your name to it.

  158. Blogger Lynn | 9:42 AM |  

    Maybe the Board of Porkers is partnered with the Board of Fake Food (formula!) ;D

  159. Anonymous Don M | 9:47 AM |  

    Perhaps the pork board should think about how this cease and desist letter is really hurting their marketing. They would have made more PR points by sending you a letter asking nicely and perhaps offering a donation to the cause. Now I think I will take pork chops and ham off of our family meal plans. I sure hope this story does get picked up by a larger media outlet. Perhaps the pork board should think about what damage that willd o to them then.

  160. Anonymous Anonymous | 9:59 AM |  

    Why don't all of you get a life. This stupid woman is sucking all of you in to her problems. This is a
    problem she brought on to herself.
    Let her deal with it. Compared to other things going on in the world this is trivial non-sense.

    If all of you want to really help someone in need, help the hungry and the poor. They need our help more than this woman. Go to bat for them, they are really in need.

    Or help save the environment, because not to long from now, you really will wish that you had all done what you could for the sake of our air, water & food supply.

    Pick something to support that is worth fighting for.

  161. Anonymous Anonymous | 10:02 AM |  

    To all who accuse women who breastfeed in public of being sickos who "get off" on having "strange men" staring at the NATURAL process of breastfeeding a child: seriously????

    I understand that America has raised generations of women to be ashamed of breasts. I understand that in America, many women and men have never seen a person breastfeeding a child. I understand that people are ignorant about the physical, emotional, mental benefits of breastfeeding a baby. I even understand that many times a person's own biases, insecurities, shame, etc will be projected onto another person. But to accuse a breastfeeding mother that she has some weird fetish that she can only satisfy by "exposing herself" (ie breastfeeding her baby) in front of other people???? Who is the sicko here???

    This is exactly the reason why Jennifer's work is so important, and this whole fiasco with the piggies on the Board is so insulting.

  162. Blogger pcuvie | 10:04 AM |  

    You have an absolute First Amendment Right to use your slogan. There is a law called the parody law which protects people like you who parody copyrighted material.
    The same thing happened out here in California a number of years ago where a Vegan group sold shirts, hats and stickers with the slogan "McVegan" on them. Sure enough McDonalds threatened them with a lawsuit and a lawfirm took the case and ended the threat.
    You should call lawfirms in your area and ask them if they will take your case pro bono or on a contingency basis and I'll bet one will take it because it will be a high profile case. Try the ACLU as well.
    Also there is something called a SLAAP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) which is illegal, but I'm not sure if it is just a CA law.

  163. Blogger JC | 10:06 AM |  

    Breastfeeding is now a political cause that could be negative and backfire? Yeah, only if they're within range!!!

    This is extreme and ridiculous...on the part of the board. She is not diluting their slogan, breastfeeding and nutritional health of children is not negative - it is positive, their insinuations of encouraging fetishes is slanderous and constitutes libel, they either don't recognize parody or they are inconsistant as others (including film-makers) have used off-shot parodies of the slogan as well.

    As for all of those that wish to call the author sick and disgusting for nursing in public or promoting such, only YOUR mind is in the gutter.
    Apparently the one who claimed to nurse, but only in private, either did not truely nurse her child or never learned how to nurse in various situtions. I nurse in public regularly...including in church. NONE of my breast shows. All that is shown in the back of my babe's head and it usually appears as though she is sleeping. There is not flaunting it out there or getting any kicks out of it.
    For the one that insists that pumping is the only way to go. Wow, that might work for the babies that actually will take a bottle. Most exclusively breastfed babies will NOT take a bottle from mom. I had to even quit a job once because my child would not take a bottle period.

    I admit that I won't wear a shirt with writing as I don't like attention drawn to my breasts. However, that is the point. Breasts are for nurishment. Nurishment is positive. It is not sick or disgusting. Throughout history women have nursed in front of men...even in the puritanical victorian era. Nursing was seen as just that...nursing...not sick, not perverted, not bathroom circumstances. You don't want to see a woman nursing her child, but you watch ppl doing eachother on tv or a movie. Yeah, I think the priorities are messed up.

    Jen, you keep on, sweetie! I applaud you and what you are doing. You're $8 is not even profit...that doesn't even cover costs.

  164. Anonymous Nik | 10:06 AM |  

    You know, I thought that this slogan was a rip-off from Austin Powers: "Babies, the other white meat" was how it went, from what I remember. I didn't know it referred to pigs at all!

    As a sidenote: Boycotting pork!

  165. Blogger Barbara | 10:09 AM |  

    Oh give me a break! I have linked to this from my blog: http://www.soaps-and-potions.com/barbara/

    What idiots.

    Barbara

  166. Blogger The Continental Op | 10:11 AM |  

    I haven't combed through all 158 of the preceding posts, so I apologize if someone else has already made this point. But, the test for trademark infringement is a "likelihood of confusion" about the origin of the defendant's goods or services -- i.e. the defendant is "passing off" counterfeit goods as the real thing (e.g. fake "Gucci" purses), or leading people to believe that the trademark holder has approved or sponsored the infringing use (e.g. t-shirts with the "Gucci" logo).

    Of course nearly everyone will recognize that "The Other White Milk" is a play on "The Other White Meat." But, only an imbecile would imagine even for an instant that the t-shirts actually have any connection to the Pork Board's goods and services.

    This C&D letter is simply another example of a disturbing trend of gross over-reaching by corporations hell-bent on privatizing the entire English language and charging us for its use.

  167. Anonymous PoledraDog | 10:13 AM |  

    This is effing ridiculous. I'm going to write them a letter and tell them that I plan on never eating pork again. I've gone pork-free before, it won't hurt me to do it again.

    Not that it will do any good, but it will make me feel better. @ssholes >:(

  168. Anonymous Lisa | 10:24 AM |  

    I personally find it offensive that they deem a breastfeeding slant on their slogan as "detrimental" to their industry. No more pork for me.

  169. Blogger Shawn | 10:26 AM |  

    Someone should start a class action law suit against the Pork Board claiming that their slogan is false advertising.

    Pork is NOT white meat as several folks have pointed out earlier.

    By using this slogan they are implying that it is as healthy as chicken and turkey - which scientifically can be proven false - from a fat and cholesterol point of view.

    Just because you haven't heard the slogan before reading the tshirt doesn't mean it directly affects the sales of another product especially when it has no inflammatory intentions to begin with, to shoot down the parody/satire argument I would think that the Pork Board would have to prove that this tshirt is directly hurting the sales of their product. (Before this all happened of course)

    Trademark lawyers constantly do this BS so that at the end of the year they can prove to their clients that they are actually worth a crap. Basically they have nothing else better to do then to hunt down people that would never be able to put a tiny dent in their sales.

    The Pork Board Marketing team should kick this lawyers a$$ - If this post makes it into big media, he/she will have undone all the work and money they have put into establishing this brand.

    It would have been better if they embraced it and used it to spin more popularity for the original slogan. They can still save it.

    Hopefully they will do the right thing.

  170. Anonymous Anonymous | 10:33 AM |  

    Outside the legal issues are the marketing issues: your spin on their *term* is wholesome, nutritious, [certainly for babies only!] tasty and delicious. Viewed holistically, the turn of the phrase added tremendous value that PB marketers could never have achieved. Too bad no one had the freaking foresight to realize the high value of piggyback marketing. Surely, that hindsight will come with the high stakes of losing it. Betcha PB's marketing folks are squealing like stuck pigs.

    And I for one, have just boycotted all product pork. Disclaimer: My actions are independent: just now realizing that the let-down reflex of nursing sows can be intimidated by bullies in the barnyard.

  171. Blogger Phoebe Gleeson | 10:43 AM |  

    Care for some jerked pork

    Blogged ya! You go girl!

  172. Anonymous Anonymous | 10:45 AM |  

    this is funny...i can tell where the boobs are without a t-shirt...the pork board!

  173. Anonymous Anonymous | 10:49 AM |  

    sorry...forgot to put my name on my post...
    i can see the other boobs, without a t-shirt....the national pork board...

    mark e

  174. Blogger Log | 10:51 AM |  

    I saw this link on the forum at GentleChristianMothers.com, and happened to forward it to a friend who is the main news anchor of a tv station covering a good part of 3 states. She's emailed the pork board and is waiting for a response.

  175. Blogger LetsBeFair | 10:53 AM |  

    I am a woman and I want the right to feed my baby anywhere I would like BUT there are laws that are set in place for a reason. Jen, I'm sure you're a fabulous person - it shows by all the hard work you do. However fabulous you are, you didn't come up with the slogan, "The Other White Meat." Nor did you sit in advertising meeting after advertising meeting trying to rack your brain for a new motto that would be remembered so greatly. Kudos to the people who did - it obviously worked. So how can your promotion benefit off the hard work of others? (Yes, you came up with "The Other White MILK" but would it mean anything without the already well-known advertising slogan "The Other White Meat"?) I happen to think you've been very clever with your products. So what if the National Pork Board made Tshirts that said, "These Chops Save Lives" and "Two Chops, No Waiting" then benefited from their sales while The Lactivists got nothing? It just doesn't seem right that you were the brains behind it and someone else is getting, literally, the credit. About the bullying - yes, they came at you "guns a blazin'" because I'm sure large companies have protocols they have to follow when taking legal action. If they would have sent a nice email, I'm sure you would have complied because that's the kind of person you are. However, think about how many people they deal with practically every day who are not as good natured as you. Call it "hardening up" in the business world, but if you don't do it, you get soft and when you get soft, well they find someone who is "hard" to replace you because being soft just doesn't cut it when in business. I'm sure you won't publish this because it is not agreeing with your point of view, but I think it is important to remember that to every story, there are two sides. In a rational, well thought out process, both sides have their aces...I really don't think there's a "winner" here.

  176. Anonymous Anonymous | 11:00 AM |  

    To the previous poster addressing the issue of you being too "reactionary": Amen. To the previous poster who said that they can't trademark a whole sentence? That's exactly why the trademarking laws exist..."Trademarks are generally distinctive symbols, pictures, or words that sellers affix to distinguish and identify the origin of their products."! I support your cause, it's just plain and simply illegal to use someone else's creative efforts to do so.

  177. Blogger Pork Board supporter | 11:04 AM |  

    I have to say that I agree with the Pork Board one hundred percent. This is not about "Milk" or "Pork", this is about the Trademark Logo. Get a CLUE people. JENNIFER used someone else's idea instead of thinking one up on her own, she used their whole logo and only replaced one word. I'm not really sure why she has so many supporters since I believe it is illegal to do this no matter how small you think it is.

    Jennifer does have a good cause in supporting breastfeeding mothers, (I am a mother too) no-one is disputing that, however, you have to follow the law people, if she is such a good person, then why did she steel someone else's logo? It wasn't hers to take!!!! Think about it!

    Go Pork Board!

  178. Anonymous Anonymous | 11:12 AM |  

    Of course they're going to be upset. Do you know the amount of time, energy, resources, and funding major corporations put into effective marketing and advertising for product recognition? You're telling me that once they get that product recognition set in to place and the slogan well known, someone can come in, tweek a couple of words, use if for THEIR cause, and THAT should be ok? Come on. No judge in their right mind would side in your favor. In fact, if I were you, I'd just drop the whole issue before there's a counter claim of copyright infringement and defamatioin.

  179. Anonymous Meagan | 11:13 AM |  

    After reading through pretty much all of these comments, I've come to the conclusion that someone from the pork board is aware of this thread and is posting anonymously every so often. Almost *all* of the Anonymous posts are big long messages against you, and vice versa.
    Come on, pork people. At least have the decency to put a name to the negative comments.

  180. Anonymous Anonymous | 11:14 AM |  

    Here's what I sent to them:

    Dear Boss Hogs,
    Anti-breastfeeding news travels fast so in the last 24hrs I've come across several blogs/emails regarding the NPB bully tactics against a WAHM being harrassed over some silly breastfeeding slogan tees.
    First, you must not think highly of the general public, your consumers, since you've assumed their inadequate intelligence levels will prevent them from "getting" the funny tshirts that claim "The other white MILK". Milk…...not meat! When someone says milk you think cow, maybe goat, but not pig.
    What's even worse is your complete ignorance and "mind-in-the-gutter" mentality concerning the remaining shirts mentioned in your letter:
    "In addition, your use of this slogan 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, such as with the following slogans on your website in close proximity to the slogan "The Other White Milk." "Dairy Diva," "Nursing, Nature's Own Breast Enhancement," "Eat at Mom's, fast-fresh-from the breast," and "My Milk is the Breast."
    I'm torn between laughing at such an absurd perspective or being shocked that enough of you must consider breastmilk and breastfeeding to be very perverse to have such a distorted view of it. Ugh! Please keep your fetishes to yourselves! This attitude says a lot about the persons involved in this and it strongly suggest that the problem isn't a trademark issue but an issue with breastfeeding itself.

    Sounds like the National Pork Board and representatives are no more mature than the characters in "Porky's".

    And this weekend I'll buying BEEF for my Super Bowl BBQ.

  181. Anonymous A breastfeeding mom | 11:35 AM |  

    I'm pro breastfeeding all the way. and I appreciate your cause and what you're doing, but I'm afraid I'm siding with the pork company.

    Companies (large and small) must protect their trademarks or face losing them. Millions of dollars goes into a trademark phrase such as "the other white meat" - promoting it and getting it out there as a household name.

    It is simply unreasonable to suggest that a large busy corporation take the time to personally email or call or whatever an inquiry about the item in question. These things are standard protocol. It's not personal. It's not big corporation pitted against tiny blogger. It's standard, standard, standard.

    The pork company is absolutely in the right and I'm very tired of seeing "big company" equated with evil when all they're trying to do is protect their very recognized, very important trademarked tag line.

    So they got your mission wrong, and you're offended because whoever was in charge of overseeing the legal letter didn't waste precious payrolled minutes of their day reading your website in order to fully appreciate what it is you do? Give me a break. Do you not realize how large (and small) companies are run? An issue involving copyright or trade dress or trade mark infringement arises. The set steps are put in motion. Nobody cares about you or your cause. They care about their trademark.

    Get over it.

  182. Anonymous johbeak | 11:40 AM |  

    Might be a good idea to send this article off to the LaLeche Leage as well. Don't know if they can help necessarily, but I'm sure someone there would be upset about the Pork Board's image being "tarnished" by being "associated" with breast feeding.

    Heh. they should be so lucky.

  183. Anonymous Anonymous | 11:52 AM |  

    I don't think Wikipedia is an excellent source for info that is factual, it may be or it may not be. Anyone who is registered can define and explain anything they wish. And edit! Didn't Jon Stewert just do this several months ago, redefining elephants - funny stuff.

  184. Blogger Lauren | 11:56 AM |  

    Well goodness gracious. So my lactating breasts are easily confused with PORK? Hell... i didn't know I had that much protein attached to my chest!

    Jen this is outrageous. I filed an I-report with CNN and hopefully they'll pick up the story. I can't believe this at all.. my jaw just dropped. I saw the story @ Motherwear and immediately came here to find out what the deal was. Absolutely ridiculous and I too will be boycotting pork until they cease and desist with this childish behaviour. I mean, really.

  185. Anonymous Anonymous | 11:57 AM |  

    On a side note, this is the reputation that "the other white meat" is so dearly trying to preserve.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/12840743/porks_dirty_secret_the_nations_top_hog_producer_is_also_one_of_americas_worst_polluters/1

    If you ask me, it's BF moms that should try to get away from any association with the pork industry.

  186. Anonymous Anonymous | 11:59 AM |  

    For those who claim Jen is violating the Pork Board's trademark rights: her use is very clearly within the trademark parody exception.

    This is a stupid piece of overreaching by a trademark owner(and an embarassingly bad piece of lawyering on the part of the attorneys who wrote the cease and desist letter). -- A TM attorney

  187. Anonymous Rosie | 12:00 PM |  

    First to nr 117 - breastfeeding a *political* cause?! I thought it was just something that normal sane mothers do when they care about their children and don't want to introduce them to a life of miserable allergies, poor immune systems and bad teeth! It is something you do to show love and closeness to your child. All mammals do it (and they don't hide under blankets either...) Only a few people think there is something wrong with it - and they are the ones who are, quite frankly, sick. Not the breastfeeding mothers.

    I agreec the slogan comes under parody, as it was intended to be just that - because it doesn't denigrate pork, it actually relates to another food (milk) and it is intended to be humourous for a non-profit cause. If a movie can get away with equating "the other white meat" to cannibalism without a peep, this would seem to be some pretty psycho misongynistic child-hating folks getting fetish-y about the most natural thing in the world. (Pigs do it...) (Hey, there's a slogan for you!)

    I breastfed my daughter and actually had to fight in court for my right to do so against so-called psychologists. My ex-husband tried to use it as a reason to take custody! I had the La Leche League and several other NGOs writing briefs for my custody case and won - almost a dozen times.

    So I would say notify the La Leche League ... and how about Sheila Kitzinger while you are at it!

    If you don't put the shirt up for sale on Café again, I will make one myself - I think it is great.

    And as somebody who has worked in PR and marketing for years, I think the porkers have roasted their giblets on this one. What a gaff!

  188. Anonymous Anonymous | 12:13 PM |  

    Just wanted to let you know that this story has made it to my local LLL group newsletter on the west coast of Canada. It's spreading everywhere. :)

  189. Anonymous Anonymous | 12:14 PM |  

    I will no longer be buying pork...I didn't relate that saying to pork at all...you have my support...I will be letting all I know about this riduclous suit

  190. Anonymous Anonymous | 12:26 PM |  

    POST 181 seems a bit too fishy. Can you check your log files and see if you can ID the IP of the commenter?

  191. Anonymous Suli | 12:30 PM |  

    I read all the posts and see two types os commments the informed and the defend the cause not the law breaking act. Im all forth breastfeeding, and believe to be the best for child and mother, but this has nothing to do with it a law was broken and now Jen faces the consequences its very simple. The breastfeeding in public issue, it is natural, so is sex and i dont want to see it everywhere i go, why? well i just dont. And im not implying that bf is sexual im just saying the hole natutal argument cant be used for everything or you will have public pooers defending the right to crap all over the place.

  192. Anonymous Anonymous | 12:34 PM |  

    Hi Jen,

    I believe you are right about the template form letter being filled up with your details. It happens every second in the trademark litigation world.

    A law firm, in this case Faegre & Benson, has a big client such as the National Pork Board. They probably attend to all their legal needs, including intellectual property.

    In trademark practice, they work at hourly rates. To increase their billing chances and justify their existence, they scout the web and other venues, searching for possible conflicts. If they find one, they write to their client, saying that action is required. If the client agrees, they go ahead, and most importantly, they start billing.

    The lawyer who wrote to you, Jennifer Daniel Collins, is listed in their website as an Associate. She is barely out of law school (2004). Thus she is working in this case probably under the supervision of a partner. She needs to make a certain number of billable hours to keep her job (billable hours are not normal hours, is the time they can actually bill to the client.)

    Her letter to you has all the characteristics of the mindless, repetitive task that goes on in so many intellectual property offies around the globe. Fire up cease and desist letters, bill the client, expect compliance from scared bloggers.

    I hope they realize whant a spectacular mistake they have made by bothering you. The more e-mails the Pork people get, the more the lawfirm will regret having advised so poorly their client.

    Bye for now.

  193. Blogger Julie | 12:35 PM |  

    I blogged it here - http://momsquawk.wordpress.com/2007/02/02/wacksquawk-porky-vs-the-lactivist/

  194. Anonymous Peter D | 12:38 PM |  

    So many amateur lawyers on here, so few clues.

    I have consulted a (real) lawyer about it, and the case is far from black and white. The outcome would depend on how the case is argued.

    Secondly, a person and company can assert their rights, but it is not always wise to do so.

    In this case, the marketing backlash, and cost, probably outweighs the benefit of a cease and desist. It could be argued that if one wanted to protect the trademark, one wouldn't risk bringing it into disrepute.

    The law is only a tool. That tool can be used wisely or inappropriately.

  195. Anonymous terrykepner | 12:41 PM |  

    Perhaps this will help:
    ---------- (from Wikipedia)-------
    The scope of a trademark is determined by whether there is "likelihood of confusion" (note that this is different from whether there has been any actual confusion), between that trademark and another trademark in the minds of the consuming public. Likelihood of confusion is generally determined by reviewing a set list of factors which, depending on the judicial circuit, range from 7 to 13 in number. In the Federal Circuit, for example, these are called the DuPont factors:

    We determine likelihood of confusion by focusing on the question whether the purchasing public would mistakenly assume that the applicant's goods originate from the same source as, or are associated with, the goods in the cited registrations. [citation]. We make that determination on a case-by-case basis, [citation], aided by the application of the factors set out in In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., 476 F.2d 1357, 177 USPQ 563 (CCPA 1973). Those factors are:

    1. The similarity or dissimilarity of the marks in their entireties as to appearance, sound, connotation, and commercial impression.
    2. The similarity or dissimilarity and nature of the goods . . . described in an application or registration or in connection with which a prior mark is in use.
    3. The similarity or dissimilarity of established, likely-to-continue trade channels.
    4. The conditions under which and buyers to whom sales are made, i.e. "impulse" vs. careful, sophisticated purchasing.
    5. The fame of the prior mark . . . .
    6. The number and nature of similar marks in use on similar goods.
    7. The nature and extent of any actual confusion.
    8. The length of time during and the conditions under which there has been concurrent use without evidence of actual confusion.
    9. The variety of goods on which a mark is or is not used . . . .
    10. The market interface between the applicant and the owner of a prior mark . . . .
    11. The extent to which applicant has a right to exclude others from use of its mark on its goods.
    12. The extent of potential confusion . . . .
    13. Any other established fact probative of the effect of use.
    --------------
    Sounds like the duPont list compares the goods being offered and then decides if there is a trademark dispute. For example, Microsoft owns the trademark for Windows, howevere, every company in the world that sells glass windows is allowed to use Windows in their advertising because clearly no sane person is going to confuse a company selling computer software with a company selling glass windows for a house.

    Likewise, Apple Computer for years has used the Apple logo without dispute from Apple Records. Now that Apple Computer is selling music, Apple Records is suing them for Trademark infringement.

    So, she sells T-shirts with the trademark "The Other White Milk". Is this product likely to be confused with the meat item Pork sold in a grocery store for food consumption? Not likely (unless you can find me a ton of people who regularly purchase T-shirts as a food item).

    Terry

  196. Anonymous Anonymous | 12:42 PM |  

    You women are acting ignorant. This is just a simple case of copyright infringement. It doesn't matter if you are humorously promoting breast feeding infants, or if you are selling auto parts. I have nothing to do with the pork industry, but I am in advertising. The people in the pork Industry do not care that you breast feed, nor are they against it. In fact I would guess that most people in their ranks would applaud breast feeding as it is what's best for the baby. No one is attacking breast feeding, so pull the panties out of your butts, and get over yourselves. It's not about you. You just can't use that phrase, even if you replace a word, because of U.S. copyright laws. The pork industry paid a lot of money to some ad agency to come up with that phrase and create a brand identity, and they have paid millions of dollars in the years since to use that phrase as their their core positioning statement on all of their branding and marketing materials. If you paid millions of dollars and established a brand over many years that represented your company, and suddenly the Pork Producers were bastardizing your copyrighted core positioning statement, I'm sure you would take the same appropriate legal action. So, settle down ladies, and remember, You women are acting ignorant. This is just a simple case of Copyright infringement. It doesn't matter if you are humorously promoting breast feeding infants, or if you are selling auto parts. The people in the Pork Industry do not care that you breast feed, nor are they against it. In fact I would guess that most people in their ranks would applaud breast feeding as it is what's best for the baby. No one is attacking breast feeding, so pull the panties out of your butts, and get over yourselves. It's not about you. You just can't use that phrase, even if you replace a word, because of U.S. Copyright laws. The Pork industry paid a lot of money to some ad agency to come up with that phrase and brand identity, and have paid millions of dollars in the years since to use that phrase as their their core positioning statement on all of their branding and marketing materials. If you paid millions of dollars and established a brand over many years that represented your company, and suddenly the pork producers were bastardizing your copyrighted, core positioning statement, I'm sure you would take the same appropriate legal action. So, settle down ladies and remember nobody is against breast feeding or even humorous merchandise that promotes it. Now go hug your baby and chill out.

  197. Anonymous ThinkandDrive | 12:47 PM |  

    I had nearly the same experience in 2001 with Viacom over a "Survivor" shirt I designed and put up on Cafe Press after the September 11 terrorist attacks. My sales were even flagged as being for donation to the Red Cross.

    The shirt was loosely based on the Survivor logo with the silhouette of the WTC in the background with "We Will Survive" in the foreground.

    My shirt raised over $700 for the Red Cross before Viacom sent the CaD to Cafe Press and pulled me into weeks of phone calls and legal threats. They actually demanded that Cafe Press give THEM the money raised instead of sending it to the Red Cross!

    I eventually was able to talk them into dropping everything and allowing the money to go to the Red Cross, like I planned.

    Nowadays, it sickens me to look around and see shirts promoting fraternities and strip clubs with "Survivorish" logos on them when I was put through what I was for just trying to raise some money for the Red Cross.

    I don't even have the art any more. I wish I knew if the shirts were even still out there in the world.

    These companies don't understand how damaging their litigious knee-jerks can be.

  198. Anonymous TerryKepner | 12:48 PM |  

    195 Anonymous.
    You may be in advetising, but you don
    't know copyright law. You cannot copyright a word, phrase, or sentance. Period.

    This is a trademark issue, where you can obtain an exclusive right to the use of a word, phrase, or sentance, but only as it pertains to your business.

    Terry

  199. Anonymous Anonymous | 12:48 PM |  

    Hi Jen,

    Now I have read the posts on your blog and noticed the many ones which seem to support the Pork people.

    I can picture a few creative little hands at work there. Curiously, these posters are all very good with legal categories. The are able to distinguish between trademark dilution and trademark infringement, they speak about "counter claim of copyright infringement and defamatioin."

    Someone -maybe a lawyer who is very, very scared that her letter may cost her her job-, is posting here to minimize the impact of the reaction. I feel a bit bad for that unnamed lawyer, as i believe it was simply one more routinary and mindless action, nothing personal. However, things are as they are, the cat is out of the bag and the blogging world is not easy to appease once aroused.

    Bye for now.

  200. Anonymous Anonymous | 1:04 PM |  

    Hi,
    I'm a fellow breastfeeding mom, and I don't really give a rat's heiney about the trademark issue, but the irony that I see here is that here in Philadelphia over the past year, there have been all of these really SEXUALLY RACY BILLBOARDS for pork. Like, satin sheets or a leather jacket with something insinuating that the image has to do with eating pork. It's really bizarre, gives me the creeps, and every time I see one I yell at it, regardless of whether I'm in an empty car. It's just weird.

    Anyway, that. Good luck to you.

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