Toucan Sam Gets Grabby

Kellogg cereal has issued a cease-and-desist letter against the Maya Archaeology Initiative for its use of a toucan in its logo. Kellogg claims that MAI’s toucan looks too much like Kellogg’s own Toucan Sam, featured on Froot Loops, and that the MAI’s use of the toucan infringes Kellogg’s trademarks. Most people confronted with extravagant trademark claims simply stop using a contested mark. So far at least MAI is standing up┬áto Kellogg’s dubious claim that consumers will confuse MAI’s endeavors with breakfast cereal. Unfortunately, though, the parties are already talking settlement so as in many intellectual property cases we are unlikely to get a definitive ruling that will set a legal precedent.


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