National Pork Board to Unicorn Meat Purveyor: Lay Off Our Slogan

By Joseph Calamia | June 23, 2010 10:55 am

unicornTrying to cut back on beef, but tired of fish and chicken? Try unicorn. According to a joke advertisement on the website ThinkGeek, unicorn is the “new white meat.”

But according to the National Pork Board, it had better not be. The Board’s lawyers sent the nerdy site–also sellers of Tauntaun sleeping bags (real) and Tribbles ‘n’ Bits cereal (fake)–a 12-page-long, cease-and-desist letter last month telling the site to lay off “the other white meat,” which is trademarked in the United States, Europe, and Canada.

ThinkGeek thinks the two meats can’t compare. Unlike pork, unicorn is an excellent source of sparkles. Also unlike pigs, unicorns aren’t real–so ThinkGeek believes the slogan “Pate is passe. Unicorn — the new white meat” constitutes fair use as a parody.

As reported in The Washington Post, Board spokeswoman Ceci Snyder says their lawyers must protect any use of the phrase:

“Clearly there’s some fun being had, and we can laugh, too,” Snyder said. “But in the end [the lawyers are] just following the law.”

From their site, it doesn’t look like ThinkGeek is budging. If the Pork Board is successful, maybe the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association might have a better sense of humor. “Unicorn: It’s What’s For Dinner” has a nice ring to it.

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Image: flickr / Scorpiorules58 / Tanakawho

  • Amanda

    Sadly, it really IS how trademark law works– you have to go after every infringement, or abandon your trademark rights.

    *I am not a lawyer

  • Don G.

    And in honor of this fun…
    Deidre Flint and her unicorn song

  • ToneDeF

    Isn’t this free press for the Pork Board? Use of the slogan would cause poeple to think about the Pork brand. Its not like they would be competing with Unicorn meat (though I would like to get me some Unicorn, medium rare please).

  • Ryan

    Just another reason corporate America sucks. Make a good-humored joke and get sued. We don’t need to worry about robots taking over because the robots are we.

  • Joseph Calamia

    Thanks for the comments (and, Don, for the unicorn song).

    One additional note: the National Pork Board announced earlier this month that they plan to retire “the other white meat” slogan. From the AP:

  • shivangee sharma

    is this a slogan on unicorn duhsss !!!!!!!!!!!!!


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