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.

Related content:
Discoblog: Science (What Else?) Reveals the Secret of the Montauk Monster
Discoblog: Pilots Attacked By Frickin’ Laser Beams
Discoblog: The World’s Geekiest T-Shirt Has a Wi-Fi Detector

Image: flickr / Scorpiorules58 / Tanakawho

  • http://lovelettersinhell.blogspot.com 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
    http://deirdreflint.wordpress.com/2010/03/18/song-a-week-7/

  • 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: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/10/pork-other-white-meat-slo_n_608224.html

  • shivangee sharma

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

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Discoblog

Quirky, funny, and surprising science news from the edge of the known universe.
ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »