Update: “Kellogg Settles ‘Toucan Sam’ Dispute With Archaeologists”

A happy ending (kinda) to the cease-and-desist battle that began when the giant food company decided the toucan on the Maya Archaeology Initiative’s logo was too reminiscent of its Froot Loops mascot. [Kevin Underhill/Forbes via Musing Minds, earlier]


  • I don’t understand how this issue ever arose. Trademarks apply only to particular market sectors. Surely an archaeological organization and cold cereal fall into different market sectors. There is therefore no possibility of infringement even if the marks are identical. The only exception to this arises in the case of “famous marks”, but surely the Fruit Loops logo does not fall into this category.

  • I am sure the World Wrestling Federation wishes that were true.
    (as opposed to the World Wildlife Fund)

  • Was there actually a cease-and-desist letter? Following the story back to primary sources, the best I could find was an objection to the trademark:

    lawyers in July saying that Kellogg was concerned about an application to use the logo in connection with clothing

    Given that you have to diligently protect your trademarks, it may not have been all that outrageous for “Froot Loops” to object to another toucan trademark for a clothing line, if they have a clothing line featuring the toucan.

  • Outrageous that someone would think they own the right to use of the Toucan.

  • You say “via Musing Minds, earlier.” However, both articles were written on November 18th. I see no evidence that one was written earlier than the other.

  • DH>Musing Minds cites Underhill as her source. “Via” means I learned about Underhill’s piece by seeing the link to it on Musing Minds, while “earlier” just provides a link to Overlawyered’s earlier coverage.