Minneapolis based The Herbivorous Butcher has objected to the food giant trademarking the term “vegan butcher” coined by them.
Aubry and Kale Walch started the first vegan butcher shop in 2016 in the United States selling meat-free “meats” and dairy-free cheeses.
In August 2017, they applied for four trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), of which three were approved and “Vegan Butcher” was rejected on the pretext that the term was vague and “merely descriptive.”
Ironically, in February this year, Sweet Earth owned by Nestlé- submitted a trademark application with the USPTO for a nearly identical term “The Vegan Butcher,” which was accepted barely six weeks after the Herbivorous Butcher team was sent away.
View this post on Instagram
It’s true, we’re in a battle with a behemoth, Nestlé. 🤼 The corporate giant is trying to trademark “The Vegan Butcher” — which we originally coined. But we won’t be intimidated by the imitators & we’re fighting back to keep what’s ours. Head to the link in our bio to read more from the @startribune. #GetYourOwn
“For some reason it was denied for us, but not for them,” said Aubry Walch.
“There are a lot of vegan butcher shops across the United States. We’re all a part of the same team. We just don’t want a largest company in the world to come in and say we’re going to take ‘The Vegan Butcher.’ It felt suspicious that it was immediately OK for them, but not for us.”
The Walsh have filed a motion to oppose the grant given to Nestle.
“If it’s merely descriptive for us, then it should be merely descriptive for [Nestlé], so they shouldn’t be given the exclusive right to use that mark,” said Ken Kunkle, the attorney representing the Walches, to Twin Cities Business.
The Walch siblings want the USPTO to either grant them the legal right to continue using the phrase or allow it to remain un-trademarked so that others in the plant-based food industry can use it too.
“We may be small but we are going to fight big to protect what we create, be it a recipe or a slogan,” said Aubry Walch in a press release.
“We won’t stand by and let a powerful corporation attempt to take our intellectual property. We won’t be intimidated by the imitators, no matter their size.”
While the dispute has been playing out at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office since June, it could proceed to court if a settlement, which is highly unlikely is not reached.
Speaking to The Star Tribune, Aubry Walch said: “They can drag us through court until our great-grandchildren die.
“It’s still a cause worth fighting for.”
Who do you think deserves the title “The Vegan Butcher”? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Vegan culture, food, beauty & more
- Totally Vegan Buzz Team
- 19th June 2020
All sorts of plant-based foods and products will be up for sale at this summer’s Vegan Farmers’ Market in Vancouver. Vancouver is gearing to launch the city’s first Vegan Farmers Market on 27 June at Vancouver’s Concord Community Park. The event will operate right through summer for eight full Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 …
- Charlotte Coates
- 13th January 2020
Perfume has the power to transport you. A favourite scent can remind you of many things – conjuring up the bliss of a relaxing holiday, the comfort of home or even a butterfly-filled first date. There are so many wonderful scents to choose from, no matter if you prefer musky notes, floral hints or fruity …
All the quizzes you love to binge!
- Marlon Farrugia
- 10th January 2020
How much vegan knowledge do you have stored away? Do you have to Google your way through a shopping trip, or do you have all the bad E-numbers memorised? Find out now with this quiz. Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a dedicated vegan for many years, and …
- Marlon Farrugia
- 13th October 2019
Spook Season approaches. There will be ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and glucose. You need a costume, and you want to it to show off your personality, which means VEGAN. But what to choose? Take our quiz to find out your perfect outfit. Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a …
- Marlon Farrugia
- 26th September 2019
“If you were a vegetable, what kind would you be?” A question that has tormented humanity throughout the ages – until now. Read: QUIZ: If you score 19/20 on THIS quiz, you’re a Vegan God Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a dedicated vegan for many years, and …