Trademark rights aren’t supposed to give you a monopoly on commonly used phrases or descriptions. Asks the Centre Daily Times of State College, Pennsylvania:
What words can be used to describe [a hamburger]?
If you’re are thinking “thick ‘n juicy” or even “thick & juicy,” better think again or you could face a lawsuit.
Holten Meat Inc., a Sauget distributor of frozen beef patties, recently filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis against grocery store chain Kroger for infringing on the trademarked phrase: “thick n juicy.”
Kroger-brand meat patties bear the slogan: “thick & juicy.”
Holten trademarked the phrase in connection with hamburgers in 2001 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Okay, we know “trademark” isn’t a verb, but still — read the story at the link. They got a real, live trademark expert to explain the issues, and it’s more than I can excerpt here within the fair use exception. But this is a good little item about the evidently never-ending push to turn every little thought, notion and concept into “brand equity” — which is an abuse of the Lanham Act as originally conceived. This should be a thick and juicy dispute!
Did I say “thick and juicy”? Mmmm. Nothing like a THICK and JUICY HAMBURGER, is there? I hear the ones from Kroger’s are great!!!