A man’s love of Olive Garden pasta has put him in the crosshairs of the Italian restaurant’s parent company, Darden Concepts Inc.
According to Vincent Malone, the man behind www.allofgarden.com, Darden sent him a cease-and-desist email, accusing him of infringing the Olive Garden trademark. Darden’s form letter says the “trademark Olive Garden appears as a metatag, keyword, visible or hidden text on the web site,” and these are infringing uses that could cause a likelihood of confusion.
Darden didn’t immediately respond to a request to confirm the email’s authenticity.
UPDATE: The letter to Malone was auto-generated, and the company will take no further action, a spokeswoman for Darden told Bloomberg BNA, after the blog was posted.
Malone uses the website to chronicle his goal to eat Olive Garden in copious amounts. He apparently has an Olive Garden Pasta Pass, giving him access to all-you-can-eat pasta, according to his website.
Malone posted his response to Darden, in which he said that he will not remove references to Olive Garden. He says that he only uses the name to refer to and identify the restaurant, which is protected under the nominative fair use doctrine.
Companies often struggle to respond to the unauthorized use of their trademarks online, whether it’s being used by fans, parodists, or counterfeiters. It’s unclear whether Darden’s seemingly heavy-handed response will spark a backlash, but others have taken a lighter approach.
Arby's Restaurant Group Inc. is a good example. For several years, a popular Twitter account, @nihilist_arbys, has been tweeting musings such as: “Someday you and every single thing you've ever known or loved will cease to exist. Eat Arbys.”
According to one report, company executives decided it was futile to send a legal threat to the anonymous account. However, once it discovered that musician Brendan Kelly was behind the account, it did the next best thing- the company sent Kelly a bag of Arby’s sandwiches, a dog, and a note: “Cheer up, buddy. You live in a world with puppies ... and sandwiches.”
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)