Mar24

Response to UEP Trademarking "Egg Farmers of America"

  1. 1.Egg Farmers of America Trademarked by UEP

 

We can no longer use the name “Egg Farmers of America” since UEP has filed for the trademark effective February 11, 2014.  Below is the letter sent to Randon Wilson, UEP’s legal counsel.  This demonstrates how effective we have become in defeating the egg bill, in supporting the King amendment in the Farm Bill, in assisting the MO Attorney General in getting support from 5 other Attorneys General in the lawsuit filed against the California egg law, and in rebutting the misinformation in the press about today’s modern conventional cage systems.  The name of an organization is incidental to the effectiveness of the organization.  We are effective and will continue to expand our membership.  As to a new name, a number of suggestions have been made and researched.


Subject: Re: Egg Farmers of America

Dear Mr. Wilson,

This is in response to your letter dated March 7, 2014 claiming  ownership by your client United Egg Producers (UEP) of a trademark for the name "Egg Farmers of America". As the General Counsel of UEP you are well aware that this name has been used by the Egg Farmers of America since 2011. The agreement among Egg Farmers of America and the original representative to Egg Farmers of America, the Russell Group, Arlington, VA, dates to September 23, 2011.  In a letter to the House Agriculture Committee December 2011, Egg Farmers of America joined with the National Pork Producers Council, National Cattlemen & Beef Association, the American Farm Bureau Federation and several others in opposition to the UEP-HSUS agreement and legislation introduced in the House (H.R. 3798) and Senate (S.3239) which codified the UEP-HSUS agreement. On March 12, 2012 in Agri-Pulse, a Washington, DC journal under the heading “Do you want new federal standards in animal care?’, stated “despite UEP’s push within the egg industry, not all members are indeed united.  A group of small and medium sized egg producers called ‘Egg Farmers of America’ opposes the bill.” In a letter to the House Agriculture Committee dated January 13, 2013  the Egg Farmers of America expressed their opposition to UEP-HSUS agreement and the legislation introduced in the House and Senate to codify that agreement. On July 26, 2012  the Egg Farmers of America testified before the Senate Agriculture Committee in opposition to the legislation to implement the UEP-HSUS agreement to codify a national standard for egg production. 

 

Your letter to me states that your client UEP first used these terms only in October 30, 2013. Thus your registration of this service mark is deceptive on its face. We note that your letter is conveniently vague on UEP's use of these words on that date.


Your registration is particularly egregious because it is very transparently an attempt to stifle all opportunity for the Egg Farmers of America to register their opposition to your clients' agreement. It is an attempt to deny them their constitutional right to petition their government. This is not an action that will be favorably viewed by either the courts or your fellow members of the bar.

 We  have consulted with counsel  and have no doubt that we can successfully contest your deceptively obtained service mark in court and prevail.  However, we have no intention at this particular time of bringing suit against you because we know that egg farmers do not need to be involved in any more expensive litigation than UEP has already involved them in. We reserve our right to bring legal action against your client at a future date to not only contest these allegations but to pursue any  additional causes of action available.   I can assure you, few things would give me more pleasure than seeing Chad and Gene Gregory deposed under oath. 

 

Sincerely,

Ken Klippen

Klippen & Associates, LLC

Apr29

Legislation Leads to More Farmers Going Cage-Free

Legislation Leads to More Farmers Going Cage-Free

 

The housing of chickens producing eggs in conventional battery cages has been banned in Germany since 1 January 2010 – two years earlier than the deadline laid down in EU legislation. Since then, it has only been permitted to keep laying hens in small-group housing systems, barn and free-range systems or in organic production systems. Major changes in production structures have taken place in Germany. In 2008, around 60 per cent of all laying hens were still kept in conventional cages and small-group housing systems. Following the ban on conventional cages, the proportion of laying hens kept in small-group housing systems and 'enriched cages' is now just 13 per cent, according to the Federal Statistical Office.

 

As of December 1, 2012, a total of 36.6 million laying hens were kept in Germany. (The figures include farms with space for at least 3,000 hens). This is 7.5 per cent more than in December 2011. There was a particularly sharp rise in organic production with a 17 per cent increase between 2011 and 2012. However, it is worth noting that this growth started from a relatively low level. There were also increases in the number of laying hens kept in barns (up 9.1 per cent) and free-range systems (up 8.7 per cent). Meanwhile, the number of laying hens kept in cages was down 4.5 per cent.

The current overall housing capacity can accommodate around 42 million hens. 26.8 million of these spaces (64 per cent) are in barn systems, 6.1 million (14.6 per cent) are in free-range systems, and 5.5 million (13.2 per cent) are in enriched cages and small-group housing systems. Around 3.4 million spaces (8.2 per cent) are in organic production.

Mar27

Veterinarian Reports Egg Farmers Regretted Investment in Enriched Cages

 

On the final day of the Midwest Poultry Federation Convention in St. Paul, MN, Dr. Atoussa Mazaheri, Company Veterinarian with Lohmann Tierzucht in Cuxhaven, Germany reported that the German egg farmers who installed the enriched colony cages in that country regretted it. Dr. Mazaheri repeated that statement during her presentation saying the animal rights activists were not satisfied and are pressing the retailers to go cage-free altogether. Germany is an important barometer for the failure of enriched colony cages as that country implemented the installation in 2009 before the EU-wide law (EU Council Directive 1999/74/EC) went into effect January 2012. Those “good intentions” by the German Bungestag yielded more problems with the re-emergence of poultry diseases that had been previously eradicated since 1998. These included Erysipelas showing a drop in egg production upwards of 15% and mortality of 30%; Blackhead which can only be cured with penicillin, but not allowed in poultry in Germany; and Pox (Fowl Pox) which has a mortality ranging between 10-50%. Dr. Mazaheri stated privately she was not trying to engage in a political discussion on the subject of enriched cages, but to simply state the experience in Germany.

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