Bo Muller-Moore holds a stencil used to make shirts on Monday, April 22, 2013 in Montpelier, Vt. The Vermont folk artist who built a T-shirt business around the term “eat more kale” says he’s expecting to learn more about his legal fight to protect the term in his fight with the fast food giant Chick-fil-A. Muller-Moore of Montpelier says he expects his lawyer to deliver the news to him Monday about a ruling by the U.S. Trademark office in the case.(AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A folk artist who built a T-shirt business around the term “eat more kale” said Monday the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has given him a “preliminary no” in his effort to protect it after the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain complained.
But Bo Muller-Moore, of Montpelier, said he has six months to respond to the ruling.
Muller-Moore said he had expected to learn more Monday about his ongoing fight to trademark the phrase “eat more kale.”
Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, which sells fast-food chicken sandwiches and side dishes, objected to his efforts in the fall of 2011, saying “eat more kale” could be confused with its trademarked “eat mor chikin,” painted on a billboard in 1995 by a renegade cow with a paintbrush in its mouth.
The legal fight over “eat more kale” prompted Gov. Peter Shumlin to say in December 2011 the state would do all it could to help Muller-Moore against Chick-fil-A, which made headlines last summer over its president’s comments opposing gay marriage.
Muller-Moore’s attorney Daniel Richardson said an official with the trademark office thought the two phrases could be confused.
Chick-fil-A did not respond Monday to an emailed request for comment.