Robot 6

The Oatmeal sued over greeting card trademark

One of Matthew Inman's Oatmeal cards

The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman, who was embroiled in a bizarre and hilarious legal dispute over the summer, is now facing another lawsuit, this time from a Massachusetts greeting card company.

Law360 reports that Excelsior Printing Co. on Tuesday sued the popular cartoonist and Papyrus-Recycled Greetings, a subsidiary of American Greetings, claiming they’re using a trademarked name to sell cards based on Inman’s  Oatmeal creations. Excelsior insists its recently purchased subsidiary Oatmeal Studios has been using the name to market humorous cards for more than 35 years.

The lawsuit asserts the use of “The Oatmeal” mark will confuse consumers, who may believe the businesses are related. Excelsior asks for unspecified damages and an injunction barring The Oatmeal from using its name in association with greeting cards.

Inman’s cards are sold on his website, and in Recycled’s Papyrus store chain, which has about 180 locations nationwide.



Will someone end up doing porridge?

(Will that make sense to anyone outside the UK?)

That…certainly doesn’t sound good for Inman. I’ve never seen one of his cards so I don’t know how his company is named on them, but I wonder if changing the name to “Matthew Inman’s The Oatmeal” and using some kind of The Oatmeal-specific logo that clearly differentiates it from Oatmeal Studios might be enough.

What if he changes the name he markets cards under as “The Original Oatmeal Webcomic not Oatmeal Studios as Owned by American Greetings Just In Case You Actually Gave a Crap”?

This is just getting weird.

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