Spam moves to protect its name

July 2, 2003 at 8:27 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 2 (UPI) -- The Hormel Foods Corp. has filed complaints against a Seattle company, Spam Arrest LLC, charging the software firm with violating its trademark. The Seattle firm produces junk e-mail-blocking software. Junk e-mail is referred to as "spam."

The Minnesota-based foods company, which has sold more than 6 billion cans of Spam since it was introduced in 1937, is also challenging Spam Arrest's applications to trademark its own company name.

Trademark lawyers say they are skeptical Hormel can win. Philadelphia trademark lawyer John Caldwell told the Washington Post, "The problem that Hormel has is that the word has come to have a different meaning and has become adopted so widely that it is going to be difficult, if not impossible, for Hormel to prevail,"

Hormell says it doesn't object to use of the word "spam," as a slang term, as long as pictures of the meat do not appear.

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