Trademark Infringement Suit Filed Against The Oatmeal

Excelsior Printing Company filed a trademark infringement suit against Mathew Inman’s “The Oatmeal.” Inman partnered with Papyrus-Recycled Greetings, Inc to offer the popular web comic, called “The Oatmeal” (website here) as a greeting card product. Their products can be seen here. Excelsior Printing Company registered the trademark “Oatmeal Studios” in 2004 for the class including greeting cards.

A trademark is a word, symbol, phrase, or other identifying mark indicating the source of a product or service used in commerce. Trademark infringement occurs when someone other than the owner of a trademark uses a mark that is likely to cause confusion with the consumer.

In this case, Inman moved into the greeting card market and utilized the name “The Oatmeal.” Excelsior Printing Company has a registered trademark in the greeting card sector and it does appear that “The Oatmeal” is likely to cause consumer confusion with the registered mark “Oatmeal Studios.”

Inman handily defeated FunkyJunk previously (here), but it seems that the likelihood of withstanding this lawsuit is low.

The complaint is available here.