Jennifer Laycock’s battle against the National Pork Board over her "The Other White Milk" slogan for breastfeeding t-shirts continues to pick up support. as you can see here at Techmeme. After I did my own write-up about the case yesterday, I followed my own advice and emailed the board. I just got their lame response:
Thank you for your email to the National Pork Board. We appreciate you taking the time to send us an email regarding our communication with "The Lactivist" webstore on CafePress.com about our trademark rights.
It is important to understand that our lawyer’s correspondence to Ms. Laycock was in no way intended to challenge or demean breastfeeding or those who support it. This correspondence is about defending our trademark and the National Pork Board’s responsibility to protect pork industry investments on behalf of the 70,000 US pork producers we represent. The Other White Meat® is a pork industry trademark whose value was built slowly and thoughtfully over 20 years, paid for by producer’s hard-earned dollars. Any infringement on that mark would substantially lessen its value and impact for US pork producers.
It’s also important to understand that the National Pork Board cannot pick and choose which infringement challenges it decides to address. We have a responsibility to the industry to challenge all viable infringements (and we do so on a weekly basis) or face the possibility of losing trademark protection and allowing the industry’s valued trademark to become public domain, and thus worthless.
Again, the National Pork Board takes no issue with your important cause. Our interest here was in protecting US pork producer’s investment in The Other White Meat® trademark. We apologize if our response seemed impersonal or harsh; that was not our intent. We will use all feedback that we receive to improve our communication processes in the future. Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention.
Chief Executive Officer
The National Pork Board
Wow. Still not getting it. Yes, you can pick and choose infringement challenges. IE, you go after the viable and real threats. This one wasn’t. Fine, let the link bombs I suggested rip: Back Off National Pork Board! Heck, Jennifer’s already on page two for the terms.
Postscript: Link bomb now off and back to nofollow thanks to the apology the National Pork Board has given Jennifer.