Hormel Loses Bid To Own "Spam"

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[Viral Marketing]
The producer of the canned pork product Spam has lost a bid to claim the word as a trademark for unsolicited e-mails. Hormel has been trying to prevent software companies from using the word "spam" in their products, a practice it argued was diluting its brand name. Research has shown that via Google, most searches for "spam" had absolutely nothing to do with the food product.

It's a shame the spammers don't have some sort of union. This case looks like grounds for them to claim that the meat product is usurping their famous brand.

The European Office of Trade Marks and Designs, noting that the vast majority of the hits yielded by a Google search for the word made no reference to the food, said that "the most evident meaning of the term SPAM for the consumers ... will certainly be unsolicited, usually commercial e-mail, rather than a designation for canned spicy ham."

The word Spam - short for "Spiced Ham" - was coined by Hormel in 1937 as part of a marketing campaign so successful the word became virtually synonymous with canned meat.

Its use to describe unwanted electronic communication is a reference to the popular 1970 Monty Python's Flying Circus comedy sketch in which Vikings in a diner repeatedly drown out conversation with the chant "Spam! Spam! Spam!"

While Hormel has embraced the pop culture reference--even helping to market "Spamalot," the musical comedy based on Monty Python's work--it has taken less kindly to attempts by businesses to incorporate the word into their product names. The company has been embroiled in a string of trademark disputes over the matter in the United States and elsewhere, fighting product names such as SpamBop, Spam Arrest, and Spam Cube.


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Spam Haiku
Posted by wizeGurl on 2006-10-12 17:54:08
On a related note, you'd have to be a soulless, poetry-hating fiend not to enjoy the famous

Spam Haikus
 

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