Monday, March 05, 2007

Now it's Spam v Spamarrest

The latest in these silly trademark disputes seems to be a battle between Hormel Foods, famous for the canned meat Spam (remember that scene in the movie "Sophie's Choice" where all the cans of Spam fall on the floor), and a company that sells a software product blocking unwanted email called "spam" -- the company is called SpamArrest.

Here is the latest, a January 2007 story by Laura Ellis, "Hormel 'spam' lawsuit outcome due in Feburary", from Computer Business, at this link.

It does not seem that this matter is yet fully resolved. I could not find a uspto trademark record for Spamarrest online.

Remember, software and food are two totally different kinds of business. It should be legally possible for both companies to use the same wordmark without creating public confusion, even prospectively. Spamarrest claims to have spent a half million dollars defending its rights.

Spam does not seem to have a problem with the Monty Python Broadway musical Spamalot, which it does not regard as derogatory.

Hormel is located in Austin, MN, in southern MN, a town which I visited at least once when I was living in Minneapolis.

Cans of spam have appeared in critical scenes of at least a couple of movies, such as Sophie's Choice, and Steven Spielberg's Empire of the Sun.

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