OK Go: cereal giant and indie rockers in legal battle over name the band had first

For the new altered name, how’s about “Hey! Ho! Let’s Go!”


You did miss 2 things.

1 The band and the cereal company have previously done cooperative projects.

2 The cereal company asked the band to cross promote the cereal.

At this point, when the band declines and the cereal company goes ahead with the branding - there is a problem. Is it clear cut? No. But is this a more complex case than “Guns And Roses” the flower and gun shop case? Yes. Because the gun and flower shop never had any dealing with the band.


I hear that the Icelandic bard won her case against Cadbury’s Bjorkie Bar; forcing a name change.


That’s basically correct. But remember that one can accrue common law trademark rights from use outside of the registered categories, which may lead to a later registration. And it sounds like there are existing uses that were outside the registered categories. So this is not slam dunk.

And, there’s also the little matter of 15 USC § 1125… Is OK Go! a “famous” trademark? :thinking:


I set 'em up, you knock 'em down.

I did miss that - should have read the linked article.

That changes things. Not sure how much on the trademark level, but there may well be rights based on that prior business relationship.

1 Like

If the band used their name for foodstuffs and that is established in the market that could change things.

I didn’t mention famous trademarks because, AFAIK the threshold there is really high. I’m a sample size of one, of course, but I am fairly interested in music outside of the mainstream, had previously encountered OK Go (I think only through posts here on their videos) and I would not think of the band when encountering a cereal.

The fact that Post had already done a cross-promo with the band, and the fact that they made an inquiry with the band about this product naming, means they were always very intentional about the use and conflict with the name. their complaint is almost comically whiney: “…be unfairly forced to continue investing in our new brand”… Nobody forced them to do anything; they took a gamble on using an already widely known name and it backfired. They can’t claim the band isn’t well-known enough after trying to collaborate with them. They can’t pretend the name has no meaning to them or to consumers. It’s just more corporate legal shittiness. Make better “investments”, multinational conglomerate. Companies - Post Holdings


Yep. [QUOTE=“thomdunn, post:8, topic:240701, full:true”]
I think the argument in this case is that OK Go has in fact done brand partnerships, including with food companies, and that Post’s cereal falsely suggests a similar endorsement by the band.

Yep. More specifically, they’re adverse to any perceived association with pushing “disposable plastic cups of sugar to children”.

I’m also inclined to find it hard to believe no one at Post was aware of the band or any association with their product when they branded it. And I’m inclined to think their marketing team is way overpaid.

Yet another reason to boycott Post

Wish i had more stars to give you. This is so good. (As is Godflesh - Cold World is, to this day, one of my favorite post-metal songs)


A strong case? Post only offered them money because offering them money is cheaper than lawsuits, not because they have a leg to stand on. This is like The Animals suing animal crackers. You can’t just name your band after common words or expressions then sue people who also use those words in their marketing. It’s absurd. and that goes double when you’re a band that practically no one has even heard of.

Post cereal, is that you?


Sure, if you ignore the fact that the English word “animal” has been in common use since the early 14th Century (not counting the latin root) whereas the precise phrase “OK Go” was rarely used in isolation prior to the band that popularized it.

Grammy- and MTV-award winners with over 60 Million views on a single video are “a band that practically no one has ever heard of”??


One Direction, which are pretty common words, not only sued another band with the same name but also was going to sue over condoms called One Erection (which as a result were dropped first). So yeah you can.

And thinking nobody’s ever heard of OK Go just tells me your friends don’t know music that well.


No one sues Björk and lives…

I hates lawyers!!!

Bonus points for reading that in Yosemite Sam’s voice.

YARN | Why should I change? He's the one who sucks. | Office Space ...


i dunno. i think Post dropped the ball straight away by marketing this cereal as a “traveling breakfast” when clearly OKGo! should be a heavy fiber concoction of bran and flaxseed.


I can accept that I’m wrong about no one having heard of them, though using view numbers isn’t really the best measure.

But “ok go” was used in isolation all the time.