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Hormel Sues Over SpamArrest Name

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the potted-meat-is-lawyer-brains dept.

Spam 526

slammin'j writes "According to this article from the Star Tribune, Hormel has filed a lawsuit against Spam Arrest LLC. for endangering "substantial goodwill and good reputation" of their meat product, Spam. If Hormel wins, it could be bad news for umpteen companies that make use of the word spam in their name."

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GNAA Forever (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6349630)

This post brought to you by the

Check out our official irc channel #GNAA on EFNET.

Re:GNAA Forever (0, Offtopic)

lordsilence (682367) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349665)

What? Why can't people write proper explenations of their posts?

Re:GNAA Forever (-1)

jbottero (585319) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349680)

Sorry, I don't get it.

Re:GNAA Forever (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6349732)

what is it that you dont get, nigger?

no GNAA membership for you, brotha.

CLAIMED!!! (-1)

JismTroll (588456) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349689)

Fuck all AC's, this first post hereby and forthwith claimed as official property of the CLIT.

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FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6349634)


Re:FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6349679)

you are a failed nigger, nigger.
no GNAA membership for you, sir. still has its iffy page up (-1, Offtopic)

TheMidget (512188) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349635) []

Good reputation? (3, Funny)

chill (34294) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349637)

Spam? Good reputation? Ha! That stuff has been the butt of jokes as longs as I can remember! Who are they kidding?

Re:Good reputation? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6349765)

Seriously! Unbelievable.

Re:Good reputation? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6349840)

Move to hawaii, they love SPAM.

Re:Good reputation? (3, Interesting)

brkello (642429) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349876)

It may not have a good reputation in the U.S., but in a lot of other countries, they love the stuff. I bet to the British, Monty Python's skit about the person who doesn't want SPAM was funny because they couldn't believe there was someone that actually didn't like SPAM.

2nd (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6349644)


To late foo! (2, Insightful)

dankjones (192476) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349645)

They haven't done anything to protect their name, they have no right to start harvesting litigous funds now.

Re:To late foo! (2, Informative)

indros (211103) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349734)

Actually some time ago, I think they did attempt to sue [] over the use of the word SPAM..

I would think that the previous outcome would have some kind of effect on this.

Re:To late foo! (2, Informative)

rifter (147452) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349763)

Not only that, they have historically actively encouraged the use of their name for UCE. I have read numerous articles in which Hormel representatives said it was fine with them and they even had a good humour about it. They even took the trouble to put up this website [] clarifying their position. They said as long as the name is not in all caps and their product image is not used, they do not care.

Re:To late foo! (5, Insightful)

rifter (147452) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349817)

Heck, should have RTFA. It looks like they are only suing because Spam Arrest tried to Trademark Spam. in that case I think they are in their rights because otherwise the UCE company could try to stop them selling their meat-like substance as Spam.

Re:To late foo! (5, Informative)

aborchers (471342) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349773)

RTA. They are opposing an attempt to trademark a name containing their registered trademark. Considering the typically litigious nature of other companies and Hormel's relative tolerance of the use of the generic term "spam", I hardly think they should be cast as the bad guy for opposing someone else trademarking a name containing theirs.

Re:To late foo! (3, Insightful)

arkanes (521690) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349853)

Unless Hormel starts marketing either email filters or bulk email software, I don't see how it's an issue. Trademarks only cover things withing a specific trade.

Re:To late foo! (1)

reallocate (142797) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349878)

But they have every right to try.

(What, exactly, makes this a "YRO" issue? People don't believe comanies have a right to sue? Whose rights are threatened?)

The onion (1)

frieked (187664) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349646)

I could've sworn I read something similar to this in The onion [] once but I'm unable to find the story. Guess it came true.

I'm just surprised Hormel didn't start suing people ages ago for the negative uses of the word spam.

Re:The onion (5, Interesting)

Shalda (560388) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349831)

Hormel has been sending out Cease and Desist letters pretaining to Spam at least as far back as 1997 [] , and probably earlier. While Spam has long had negative connotations for some, it is also quite popular with others. Spam is very popular in Hawaii. The term has been appropriated by the public for use in an entierly different context, making this much different from trademark fights by Xerox, Kleenex, and Rollerblades to name a few. And, as the article states, "trademark lawyers were skeptical that Hormel could prevail."

it's about time... (4, Funny)

Donut2099 (153459) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349647)

that someone came up with some software to keep that pink canned monstrosity of a luncheon meat out of my cupboard... oh wait, they are talking about email? nevermind

ick. (4, Funny)

sweeney37 (325921) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349649)

endangering "substantial goodwill and good reputation" of their meat product

Don't they already endanger the goodwill and "good" reputation by calling it a "meat product"?


Re:ick. (1)

mahdi13 (660205) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349748)

If they cared as much as they do now (2000, the decade of lawsuits) back in the '70s when Monty Python based a whole skit and theme song on that 'meat-like substance'...did they sue Monty Python back then?

Re:ick. (2, Interesting)

Flabby Boohoo (606425) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349815)

The difference there is that the MP skit did not harm or associate Spam with something that everyone hates.

I bet the Python skit actually increased sales! But I can honestly say that receiving unsolicited email has never given me the craving for their canned meat product.

Re:ick. (1)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349780)

It's better than the truth...calling it a "meat by-product"

but it's not (1)

SweetAndSourJesus (555410) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349856)

It's not like Spam is what's left over from meat processing.

It's a product, not a by-product.

Re:ick. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349794)

Don't they already endanger the goodwill and "good" reputation by calling it a "meat product"?

I've never loved Hormel Spam, my father liked it because it came to prominence during WWII, probably due to rationing. He found ways to prepare it that he liked. It's too fatty for him at his age, so I don't think he eats it much any more, but he certainly did like a bit of fried Spam. People seem to eat far more disgusting (from my perspective) things, like pig's knuckles, fried pork rinds, head cheese, McDonalds hamburgers, etc.

Re:ick. (5, Funny)

TexVex (669445) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349852)

How 'bout we sidestep the issue by no longer calling junk email "spam". Instead, we can call it "whore mail". That wouldn't violate Hormel in any way at all, would it?

seriously? (4, Funny)

KaizerWill (240074) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349650)

so are we going to change our name for junk email now?

lets call it McRibs...

Re:seriously? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349849)

No lets call it Neeoungh Heck if we have to make a new word why stick with all english phonics.

SPAM - Joke of the meat industry (0, Redundant)

jonman_d (465049) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349655)

..."'substantial goodwill and good reputation' of their meat product'..."

Oh come on, who do they think they're kidding?

Little suprise (2, Interesting)

greechneb (574646) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349656)

Its not really a suprise that they finally got tired of people using the term spam for unsolicited email. Ask anyone on the street what spam is and over half would say email.

Not very good for their marketing dept. All that has changed is that now companies are using spam in their names as opposed to just it being a generic term.

Besides just getting the "dignity" of the name of spam back (what little there is) they also get some publicity, and maybe some cash.

RTFA (4, Informative)

Alizarin Erythrosin (457981) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349855)

The Austin, Minn., food company, which introduced Spam in 1937, challenged Spam Arrest's applications to trademark its company name.

They aren't suing because they use the word "Spam" in their company name, it is the fact they are trying to get a trademark of their company name (Spam Arrest), which Hormel is trying to stop. The use of the word "spam" to refer to junk email has already been addressed by them [] . This time, it is in regards to somebody using their trademark in a manner they have not approved of.

Generic? (5, Interesting)

bloggins02 (468782) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349662)

IANAL but...

Hasn't the term "spam" been rendered generic by now? I don't think Hormel has done anything in the past to protect the trademark against this use. Besides, the last time I read their website it indicated that only the form "SPAM" was trademarked and copyrighted by them.


Re:Generic? (3, Informative)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349730)

I thikn you are correct. They even published a statement some years ago saying they were giving up on trying to change. The rationale being that most people knew and were aware of the distinction.

Slashdot story on their statement: l []

Actually they've gone to some lengths (4, Interesting)

TheConfusedOne (442158) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349811)

The Hormel group has really been good natured about the whole thing going back to the Monty Python skit and going forward from there. They provide the following page explaining their position:

I think they might be objecting to combining Spam and Arrest. (Considering what their (Hormel's) product does to the cholestorally challenged they may have cause for complaint. :-D )

Trademark protection and dilution are certainly a strange area of the law to deal in.

Hormel will probably lose. (4, Insightful)

earthforce_1 (454968) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349663)

IANAL disclaimer - The judge will probably rule there is no confusion between the two. Spam has taken on an entirely different generic meaning w.r.t email, that is unlikely to be confused with the popular luncheon meat. Hormel should have enforced their trademark much earler to stop the alternative usage of the word "Spam". This is almost certainly too little, too late.

Protecting the good name of spam? (1)

Kwelstr (114389) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349667)

Are they serious? Trying to protect the "good name" of spam! ROFL!!!

correct me if i'm wrong... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6349668)

isnt the star tribune a tabloid?

Sounds legit to me... (3, Insightful)

swordboy (472941) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349669)

Isn't one supposed to check [] for this kind of stuff prior to creation? I just started my own business and spent significant time on the patent/trademark website.

FUD! (1, Funny)

catdevnull (531283) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349670)

Of course, this begs the question that Hormel's Spam *has* a good name already!

Spam spam spam spam eggs and spam! (2, Insightful)

m00nun1t (588082) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349671)

So are they going to go after Monty Python as well? :)

Hormel (4, Interesting)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349675)

They have traditionally been pretty good about letting people use the term Spam.

I have to agree with them on this. Anything like a company named "Spam Arrest" or "Fuck Spam, Inc." or something like that could be considered slander. I mean, if you ignore the e-mail side of things, it sounds like a company set up to make money by telling people how bad Spam ham is.

Oh for pete's sake (2, Insightful)

The Tyro (247333) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349678)

Don't they realize that this makes their trademark MORE commonly known, and probably increases their sales?

Now honestly, apart from college students (and most of them probably prefer Ramen noodles), who actually eats spam regularly? Don't they realize that people might hear the term, see their can on the grocery store shelf and think "oh, so that's what it was named for... wonder what it tastes like?"

You'd think they'd appreciate the free publicity.

Re:Oh for pete's sake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6349754)

You mean like Xerox? What's their stock at now? 10?

Getting a term like the name of your company made into a generic word is not good. Look how Google is trying to protect itself from people equating "searching on the Internet" to the word Google. Once it becomes generic then Google's trademark becomes diluted.

Is this a change in position? (3, Informative)

c.derby (574103) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349681)

Re:Is this a change in position? (1)

CrayzyJ (222675) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349751)

Big difference between a slang term and a company name. When people are using it as slang, there really isn't much Hormel can do. Once other companies starting using "Spam" (note all lower case) in the company name, they can take legal action (as they are).

Re:Is this a change in position? (2, Insightful)

kindbud (90044) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349764)

It's not a change in position. The company in question is using Hormel's mark in commerce, not just in conversation like we are using it here.

Common Usage (2, Insightful)

Thorofin (647823) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349682)

Hopefully they won't win because the name spam has gone from a trademark into common usage. IANAL, but had they sued the first few people to use spam to describe unsolicited email, they might have had a chance.

Re:Common Usage (3, Informative)

mahdi13 (660205) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349808)

Hasn't SPAM been put into the Dictionary?
Yes, it has been added []

ok, this is stupid (1)

intermodal (534361) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349685)

trademark law regards names in an area. for example, hormel has a fair and legit claim to spam as a trade name for a food product. Spam as a digital internet-like concept is entirely unrelated to Spam the luncheon meat. If they win this, lots of domain name disputes will get even more retarded.

so many ways around it (5, Funny)

AssFace (118098) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349688)

They could get around it the same way that I used to avoid reserved words in programming - use all swears.
Instead of "Spam Arrest" they could just change their names to "Fuck Shitters" or "Explosive Ass Mansion" (I am fully aware that the second example only had one swear in it, and two non-swear words - but I thought it sounded like a good company name - or a new ride at Disney).

Another option would be to just flail on the keyboard and then do a quick search to see if that is anywhere on the net - if not - bingo!
For instance, they could go with the name ";oasdguos " which might not be as easy to remember, but I think over time it could grow on you like a cancerous tumor (which could also be their new ad campaign).

If all else fails, we can just resort to all numbers.
Their new name, from this day forward would be "Comapny 16843329" - not to be confused with 16843328 or 16843330 which make coat hangers and tampons respectively.

I should probably not say anymore since as it is, I've said too much and feel that perhaps a consulting fee is in order.

There you go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6349690)

So companies that fight spam "endanger the good will" of their company now, huh?

I hope they get twice as many Viagra and tight-teen-snatch ads as a consequence from now on.

They say this is OK on their website... (2, Interesting)

mattworld1 (577707) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349691)

A page on their website [] says that they are OK with people using the word "spam," as long as they don't use it in all caps.
From the site:
We do not object to use of this slang term to describe UCE, although we do object to the use of our product image in association with that term.

This seems like a break from that policy.

I think they'll lose (1)

shplorb (24647) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349694)

Isn't the onus on trademark holders to enforce the trademark consistently in order to prevent it from becoming a generic term?

I'm sure pretty much everyone who reads Slasdot would agree that Spam is indeed a generic term now. Everyone now associates Spam with unsolicited commerical email rather than a tin of disgusting, highly-processed, gelatinous meat.

It's not the same Spam! (1)

brakk (93385) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349695)

Unless They were using pictures of Hormel's "Spam" product or making refrences to the food "Spam" and not electronic spam, I don't see how this would hold up.

Too Late? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349703)

IANAL, but I was under the impression that Hormel had conceded that 'spam' had become to ubiquitous as the term for unsolicited email. A quick look at spamarrest product and website, IMHO, say nothing remotely bad about, or ever refer to, Hormel processed meat products.

Lastly, spamarrest looks pretty weak. I receive occasional automated emails which I *do* want, but ~120-180 pieces of spam along with them, 7 days of holding things and requiring me to sift through it is no better than I do right now, using MailWasher (which could use a *lot* of improvement.)

Canned heart attack (0)

CompWerks (684874) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349704)

or not - Hormel had the name first

Seems to be in the dictionary... (1)

ramk13 (570633) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349705) []

"unsolicited usually commercial E-mail sent to a large number of addresses"

Isn't this going to get thrown out pretty fast, since it's a commonly used word, not related to the original product? (unlike Band-aid and Kleenex)

They only sue if you use a captial S! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6349710)

Hormel will only come after you for a few reasons (we have researched this heavily):

1. You use a capital S in spam. Ie: spamARREST would most likely be okay in their eyes.
2. You try to trademark or copyright _ANY_ name with spam in it.

So to avoid being sued, simply use a lowercase S or do not try to protect your name legally!

Using spam as slang (4, Interesting)

dmuth (14143) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349711)

>On its Web site, Hormel states that it does not object to use of
>the word spam as a "slang term," as long as pictures of the product
>are not used with such references.

This is true. There used to be an entry in the FAQ on Hormel's website saying that they were cool with people using the term "spam" to refer to Unsolicted Commercial E-mail (UCE). They only asked that folks did not use "SPAM" in all uppercase.

From reading the article, I gather that Hormel is concerned that another commercial entity with the word "spam" in its trademark could cause confusion with the luncheon meat. (at least among computer-illiterate people)

Whether those concerns are enough to stop Spam Arrest from using the word 'spam' is something that will probably be determined after a legal battle.

They have a MUSEUM? (3, Informative)

Gherald (682277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349712)

For the love of SPAM []

Oh my...

early post for sid=20721 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6349715)


SPAM IS good... (1)

chia_monkey (593501) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349718)

Doesn't it stand for:


Re:SPAM IS good... (3, Insightful)

douglas jeffries (585519) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349774)

as i understand, it was short for "spiced ham". but your suggestion seems far more accurate :-)

Re:SPAM IS good... (1)

Gherald (682277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349781)

No, you've got it wrong:


Waste of +2 Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6349798)

That isn't funny at all.

Re:SPAM IS good... (1)

Lane.exe (672783) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349814)

Only in Japan, where it is super a+ number one good!

Re:SPAM IS good... (1)

trailerparkcassanova (469342) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349819)

I thought it was...


Re:SPAM IS good... (1)

zvogt (465599) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349833)



Re:SPAM IS good... (1)

zvogt (465599) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349862)

Or possibly:


They have no choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6349720)

spam is their own original word, unlike some companies that trademark ordinary words (cough M$) they have to protect it or lose it, the dictionary lists it as theirs via Monty Python team.

Main Entry: 1spam
Pronunciation: 'spam
Function: noun
Etymology: from a skit on the British television series Monty Python's Flying Circus in which chanting of the word Spam (trademark for a canned meat product) overrides the other dialogue
Date: 1994

people that fight "spam" should really call it UCE as thats what it is, ahh semantics

I'm not so sure ... (1)

stefanvt (75684) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349722)

Isn't Hormel suing because Spam Arrest trademarked the name "Spam Arrest", since SPAM would already be trademarked by Hormel.

"i don't like spam!" (1)

douglas jeffries (585519) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349724)

it's silly that after so long they'd be upset about spam-fighting software having having that in it's name. they've made little attempt to stop the widespread use of their trademark on the internet, and now more people associate the word "spam" with junk mail or vikings than with hormel's lovely "pork with ham" product.

About time (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349736)

I've wondered about this for a long time. Spam has been around for...ever I guess. Sorry if I don't know the entire history of spam. Anyway, for the past ten years or so, their product name got swiped to mean 'a whole lot of crap.'

Not just junk email, but pretty much any sort of annoying repeatitive garbage. I've been IRC and people complain about "chat spam." The next big problem for cell phone users is SMS spam. The connotation is always negative. If I were Hormel, that would really piss me off. I mean, sure spam is a pretty low-quality product, but it's not really bad.

Sadly for Hormel, though, it doesn't really matter. You can't put the genie back in the bottle. People have gotten used to calling junk anything spam--it's already entered the common lexicon. They may be able to stop a company from using it in their name, but they'll never rename junk email.

Charged with possession of Spam? (1)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349739)

The company added that Spam Arrest's name so closely resembles that of its lunch meat that the public might become confused.

So they think people will get confused and think that consumption of spam is against the law and that they'd get arrested for possession and intent to distribute spam or something like that.

Is that it? Give me a BREAK people. Who eats spam anyway.

HEADLINE WRONG - RTFA (5, Informative)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349741)

No, Hormel is not suing Spamarrest over their name.

Hormel is opposing Spamarrest's attempt to TRADEMARK "Spamarrest".

It is clearly stated in the article. The /. editors did not read the article, just the submission, which was TOTALLY WRONG!

Hormel has been pretty damn cool about the whole "spam as email/SPAM as meat" thing - go look at their web page [] about it.

Mod Parent Up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6349823)

Who would have EVER suspected that the editors may not be reading the stories that are being submitted and ultimately posted?

New name for spam: DLM (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349743)

Let's call Spam "DLM" (digital luncheon meat) from now on, avoid the lawsuits!

Re:New name for spam: DLM (1)

Delphiki (646425) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349783)

They'd probably get protested by /.'ers who got their name confused with DRM.

I propose a new name for junk email... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6349750)


too late now (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349756)

I think there's a lot of precedent for not permitting companies to protect their trademarks after they've let things go so long. Eg, "Yo-Yo" used to be a trademarked name, but the company let other companies use their name for a number of years before the trademark issue went to court. It's not quite the same with Hormel, but they should have done something about it years ago.

Besides as others will no doubt show, Hormel won't be able to show any harm to their canned meat product since Spam Arrest is in a completely different business.

Correct me if I'm wrong... (1)

Sebby (238625) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349758)

...but I don't think Hormel's trademark applies to the computer field, and as such, can't be considered as being infringed upon here (but I could be wrong)

I'm basing this on the fact that the company a friend works for obtained a trademark for 'Microsoft', but in the contact lenses field (this was well after MS was created); they were approched by Microsoft (Billy G's) so that MS could buy it from them, which they did, since they couldn't sue since it didn't apply to the 'computer' field. This company was in Canada, btw

Couldn't this apply in this case too?

Spamalicious! (2)

TexVex (669445) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349770)

This morning my local paper, the Austin American Statesman, printed a small article about this as well. According to that article, Hormel doesn't mind the use of the word "spam" as a slang term, so long as pictures of their product aren't used with it. They're sueing companies that use their trademarked name "Spam" in their own names or in the names of their products. Unfortunately for them, they should have started fighting that battle years and years ago when the slang usage of "spam" first began to spread. Seems too late to do anything about it now. Spam as slang for "junk email" is now firmly entrenched in our culture. It's a dictionary [] word now.

I'm not an avid Spam eater but... (2, Insightful)

Craig Nagy (605528) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349771)

They were very accepting about the use of the word until Spam Arrest tried to trademark the name; so don't jump all over them about waiting until now to say anything.

From the article: "...challenged Spam Arrest's applications to trademark its company name"

You know it's kind of funny (1)

PotatoHead (12771) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349776)

I have purchased exactly one can of SPAM. It's the one sitting in the cube to represent all of the SPAM we get. Sometimes we pass it around, use it as a paperweight, or make jokes.

Nobody really expects to actually eat the SPAM --ewwww.

In other news... (4, Funny)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349782)

The makers of Underwood Devilled Ham has today leveled a lawsuit at the Devil over concern that the public might become confused or think that Underwood endorses the Devil and His products.

Spokesdemons for the Devil scoffed at the allegations, saying "Good luck finding an attorney who isn't already on the Dark Lord's retainer."

lets look at the bits (facts) (1)

pytheron (443963) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349785)

They'd be better off setting up a spam campaign promoting spam the food (term loosely used) to get them out of the financial doldrums they are probably in !

I mean.. come on, do they really think that by getting the name back they can suddenly boost sales of pigs snouts and discarded trotters ??

And on a side thought, will the people at Spam Gourmet [] have to actually eat the stuff and compose critiques on it to avoid lawsuits ?

Why not just call it UCE? (1)

bc90021 (43730) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349787)

Unsolicited Commercial Email... that's what it is.

Sure the Monty Python reference was a good in-joke for a while... and the media may have picked up on it, but "UCE" works and we don't have the problem with Hormel. (And Hormel doesn't have the problem with us.) Why do we keep this up when all it does is feed the lawyers?

Furthermore, "UCE" still lends itself to cool names... think "UCEless" or something similar. ;)

I'm tempted to TradeMark that... hhhmmm... ;)

Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6349801)

Next Spike Lee will sue SpikeTV over damaging his name...

Oh wait...

Commonly used term (5, Insightful)

Datoyminaytah (550912) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349806)

The term "SPAM", when used to refer to "unsolicited commercial electronic mail", is so commonly used that it is even used in the names of laws, such as the "Anti-Spam Act of 2003".

Will Hormel also sue the U.S. Congress?

While I'm all for companies defending their trademarks, I think Hormel has waited just a LITTLE bit too long on this one.

They are really going to have their hands full... (1)

Delta-9 (19355) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349810)

I'd imagine if they were troubled by "Spam Arrest" that "SpamAssassin" would bother Hormel as well. I know what you are thinking, SpamAssassin is open source, however... take a look at here [] . They are a commercial site selling UCE blocking email software. They do have a link to the 'real' SpamAssassin [] we all know and love.

A Bit Late (1)

The Famous Brett Wat (12688) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349812)

And here was I, thinking that Hormel was pretty sensible about this whole "spam" thing. Not anymore, it seems. But by the time a dictionary [] recognises the term "spam" as having a meaning with regards to unsolicited email, it must surely be too late to start claiming exclusive rights on the word (except where it really would cause consumer confusion, which isn't the case here).

Etymology (5, Informative)

Scurrility Extempore (685637) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349824)

For anyone interested on how Spam (the meat product) got its name, here's an excerpt from an ABCNEWS [] article about it:

1937: Hormel rolls out its first can of a luncheon meat it calls Spiced Ham. Kenneth Daigneau. An actor and friend of the Hormel family, wins $100 in a contest to name the pink product. The winner combined the "sp" with the "am" and got Spam.

Carpenters, earthworms and Cholera to follow... (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349844)


Furniture company Gautier to consider legal action, saying it's entire Windows brand home furniture had to be scrapped. Everone thinks our furniture is full of holes, and could allow easy access to burglars, said Gautier.

Friend of the farmer, Earthworm Inc. was aghast, when kids mercilessly stamped oer them. "It's crazy, something called Slammer worm hit the internet, and we're no longer friends. Terrible!"

Even the Cholera virus Inc. is contemplaing action. Earlier, people looked at us thru jaundiced eyes, and we got by. Now it's like, we need to stay miles away from people... even if we disguise us as spam, it doesn't help...


corporate language take over (1)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349848)

No one asks for a tissue, they ask for a 'kleenex.'

No one asks for an adhesive strip, they want a 'band-aid.'

cotton swab? no, a 'q-tip'

gelatin? of course not, 'jell-o'

clear tape? no, 'scotch tape'

soda, pop, or soft drink? in some parts of the country it's 'coke'

corporate takeover of the english language is a bitch. Hormel hasn't taken many steps to protect their trademark, and now they're getting bit.

NO NO, Not the Name (2, Informative)

IPFreely (47576) | more than 11 years ago | (#6349850)

Hormel does not care if they use the word "SPAM".(or at one point did not care. They may have changed their minds.) The problem is that a lot of sites/groups (Slashdot included) use a picture of the Hormel Spam Can as a symbol of the email spam. That's what they are mad about. That is very much Hormel's property and is definitely not something that can be confused with email.
(This couresy of NRP this morning. The article seems a bit thin on the subject. YMMV)

dont diss SPAM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6349865)

SPAM is great! Don't disrespect SPAM. (Anyone tried spreadable SPAM? It's just yummy.)
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