KFC Sues Small Business for Trademark Use of “Finger Lakin’ Good”

Image from https://www.gofundme.com/fingerlakingood

Takeaway: Small business in New York is fighting back KFC for its use of “Finger Lakin’ Good” which KFC alleges is infringing on its famous slogan “Finger Lickin’ Good.”

A New York-based family-owned business for a 70-acre development intended to include a brew hub, a pavilion, and a sunflower patch wanted to use the slogan “Finger Lakin’ Good.”  The owner, Brian Mastrosimone, developed the slogan based on a clever play on words given that his development is set alongside one of the many lakes in New York known as the Finger Lakes.

KFC Corporation sued Mastrosimone for alleged trademark infringement of its slogan “Finger Lickin’ Good,” which KFC claimed to be its oldest and most important trademarks from the 1960s.  KFC claimed that Mastrosimone’s slogan is too similar that it draws a false connection and may confuse consumers and further preys on and potentially damages the goodwill developed by KFC over the years.  KFC was further concerned that consumers would assume that Mastrosimone’s products and services were connected to or endorsed by KFC.

Mastrosimone argued that his business is not related to fast food and that his logo looks completely different from KFC’s such that there would not be any confusion. Mastrosimone was advised by trademark attorneys to change his tagline, despite the fact that his trademark application was approved by the Trademark Office, because of the hefty legal fees that he would incur to battle a large corporation like KFC.

Mastrosimone has started a GoFundMe campaign to hopefully help offset the legal fees as he tries to fight back.  So far, it does not look like he has garnered sufficient financial support for the impending legal battle. We look forward to seeing how this case is resolved.