The other day I posted a link to this game under the subject line:
“Real Dogs Don’t Eat Kibble” and continued “but it’s a cute game anyway.”
see more dog and puppy pictures
I didn’t think that my subject line was terribly original: it was just a tongue-in-cheek play on “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche”.
Not long after posting it, I received an e-mail from Sandra Bailey who has the website TheNaturallyHealthyDog.com. She informed me that she holds a trademark on “Real Dogs Don’t Eat Kibble” and asked that I cease using the expression except when referring to her book of the same name. I wrote a quick note back, explaining that I feed raw and that I had no idea that the phrase was trademarked (or even trademarkable if that’s a word) and asked if I could link to her book. I went ahead and deleted the post pending further research.
I understand copyright law, as we use it ourselves for our software products as well as the websites and photos. I am not quite so up on Trademark law. The first thing I did was to visit the US Patent and Trademark website and did a search on “Real Dogs Don’t Eat Kibble”. Nothing came up.
On the order page for Sandra’s books she does have the ™ symbol next to the title of that book, though not the ®symbol. Wiki, the source of all knowledge correct or not, tells me that the ™ symbol is for trademarks not yet registered. It appears from my reading that there is little that courts will do to protect unregistered trademarks. As I am not selling any product, I cannot see what harm would have come to Sandra’s commercial endeavor due to my use of the phrase. I also have doubts that the phrase is unique enough to be granted a registration: if I came up with it so easily off the top of my head, I’m sure that others have as well.
But that said, I certainly mean no harm to any proponent of raw-feeding for dogs. I haven’t yet read Sandra’s book, but here’s a plug for it anyway. Anyone who has read it, feel free to add a book-review comment.
Sandra also has a couple of YouTube videos including “Real Puppies Don’t Eat Kibble” (Hurray for puppies eating chicken legs).