Response to UEP Trademarking "Egg Farmers of America"
- 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.
Klippen & Associates, LLC