Post Cereal Tries To Steal Name of Indie Band OK Go

Another day, another lawsuit from a multibillion-dollar corporation. This time, it’s Post cereal company that’s taking indie band OK Go to court. Back in September 2022, OK Go’s lawyer sent a cease-and-desist letter to Post for infringing on the band’s copyright with its new cereal brand, OK GO!. Instead of apologizing, Post called up its favorite mega law firm and decided to go to court.

How Can Post Get Away With Stealing the OK Go Name?

Post is trying to claim that it should be able to use the name if it wants to because it sells cereal, not music. Sometimes, in the United States, different businesses can use the same trademark names as long as they’re not competing in the same industry.

In practice, though, big corporations rarely let this type of infringement stand. Imagine if Ford tried to launch a new car model called the Pepsi EV. There’s no way Pepsi would let the car manufacturer get away with it, even though Ford only makes vehicles, not cola.

The reason is that consumers are used to the idea of endorsements. Calling a car model Pepsi would probably give the idea that the drink maker was collaborating with Ford.

For bands, this idea of collaboration is even more important. How many times have musicians licensed their music for commercials, sports events and other advertising? If OK Go lets Post get away with it, they could end up irritating their fans, losing advertising deals and giving the idea that they support Post cereal, which isn’t the truth.

How Much Did Post Cereal Company Know About the Trademark?

Some people may wonder if Post knew what it was doing when they decided to use the OK Go name. The facts of the case suggest that it did. The trademark infringement doesn’t seem to be an accident.

First is the branding of the cereal products. Not only do advertisements contain the name OK GO!, but they also have a catchphrase related to music. One of the product pages on the official website says that its crispy rice cereal is “ready to rock.”

Second, in its court filings, Post said that it offered to pay OK Go to use the band’s name. The cereal giant called it a potential “branding collaboration/comarketing arrangement.” OK Go allegedly rejected the offer.

This is basically an admission that Post knew that OK Go had the rights to the name. When it didn’t get what it wanted, the huge cereal company decided to do things the old-fashioned way: steal it.

Why Does a Cereal Company Even Want OK Go’s Name?

Post apparently wants to capitalize on a cool name to get kids excited. The cereal maker is hoping to intimidate the band with a huge legal team so the band just gives up. It’s a classic case of corporate bullying.

There’s no question that the members of the band are the rightful owners of the name in question. After all, they’ve been producing music and selling albums for over 25 years with the name OK Go.

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