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Franchises / Trademarks

Chick-fil-A Fails to Shut Down 'Eat More Kale' in Trademark Battle

2 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Kale – and small business – triumphed over Chick-fil-A in a trademark battle over the phrase "Eat More Kale."

Last week, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved Bo Muller-Moore's request to trademark the phrase "Eat More Kale," reports the Associated Press. Muller-Moore has been making everything from t-shirts to stickers and Frisbees with the phrase stamped on them since 2001, to the disapproval of Chick-fil-A. 

The chicken chain argued that the phrase "Eat More Kale" was too similar to their own misspelled slogan, "Eat Mor Chikin," a supposed request from cows hoping to cut down on beef consumption.

Related: Have an Idea for the Next Kale Chip? 3 Tips for Success in the Natural and Organic Industry (Infographic)

In 2011, when Muller-Moore first sought to trademark "Eat More Kale," Chick-fil-A sent him a letter requesting that he stop using the phrase. The company said that it had already successfully convinced 30 other companies to cut similar phrases from their marketing.

However, Muller-Moore refused to give into what he called "corporate bullying." All while keeping his day job at a bakery, the entrepreneur raised money for legal funds, winning support from Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin and pro-bono lawyers.

"This is more than just about a victory for 'eat more kale,'" Shumlin said in a news conference on Friday. "It's a victory for grow local. It's a victory for Vermont's small food and farm agricultural renaissance, and it's a victory for Vermont."

Meanwhile, it looks like Chick-fil-A isn't taken the loss too hard. In response to the trademark decision, a Chick-fil-A spokesperson told the Associated Press, "Cows love kale, too." 

Related: Chick-fil-A Tries to Appeal to New Yorkers By Updating Image

What Entrepreneurs Need to Know About Trademarks