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June 21, 2010 / johndahlman

From ThinkGeek :: Blurgh! The ThinkGeek Blog – Officially our best-ever cease and desist

Recently we got the best-ever cease and desist letter. We’re no stranger to the genre, so what could possibly make this one stand out from the rest?

First, it’s 12 pages long and very well-researched (except on one point); it even includes screengrabs of the offending item from our site. And we know they’re not messing around because they invested in the best and brightest legal minds.

But what makes this cease and desist so very, very special is that it’s for a fake product we launched for April Fool’s day.

It wasn’t the iCade, or the Dharma Initiative Clock, or even the Tribbles ‘n’ Bits Breakfast Cereal.

No, it was the Canned Unicorn Meat.

The very special but also very real letter is from the National Pork Board, who claims we’re infringing on the slogan “The Other White Meat,” a slogan they’re apparently thinking about phasing out anyways. A screengrab of the product page is below.

Canned Unicorn Meat

Luckily, the Sisters at Radiant Farms, where the unicorns are nursed through old age before being slaughtered, canned, and brought to market at ThinkGeek, have nothing to worry about–this kind of use is protected as a parody. (We’re hoping the NPB doesn’t tell the Sisters that unicorns don’t actually exist; it’d break their little sparkly hearts.)

Here, in all its porky glory, is the first page of the letter:

Best-ever cease and desist letter scan goes here

We’d like to publicly apologize to the NPB for the confusion over unicorn and pork–and for their awkward extended pause on the phone after we had explained our unicorn meat doesn’t actually exist. From our press release:

“It was never our intention to cause a national crisis and misguide American citizens regarding the differences between the pig and the unicorn,” said Scott Kauffman, President and CEO of Geeknet. “In fact, ThinkGeek’s canned unicorn meat is sparkly, a bit red, and not approved by any government entity.”

We’d also like to extend a special discount to everyone we offended with our portrayal of Unicorn Meat as “the other white meat.” For a limited time, take $10 off any order of $40 or more by using the code PORKBOARD at checkout, good until 6/30/2010 at 11:59PM ET.

Thanks, National Pork Board, for giving us yet another reason to keep the April Fool’s Day tradition alive. We’ll always wonder if our Canned Unicorn Meat played some small, magical part in your rethinking of your brand.

Having a bad day? Read this for a good laugh. Really makes you wonder who has the time, budget and astonishing lack if intelligence to pursue this kind of thing…

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