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Hi ArdRhi, thank you for your note -- totally understandable that you're confused. I'll try to clarify things for you here.
I am the filmmaker (James Lantz) and Bo (Eat More Kale guy) is the subject. The "created by" on Kickstarter says, "James Lantz and Eat More Kale guy."
As the documentary filmmaker, I followed Bo and his story for six years and he allowed us to do that. Bo helped raise money for the film and heavily promoted the Kickstarter campaign.
The lawsuit I filed was against the United States Patent and Trademark Office (not Bo) because the USPTO withheld documents in Bo's Eat More Kale federal trademark case that I believed were in violation of the Freedom of Information Act.
As today's post indicates, the judge ruled in favor of the USPTO (and not us).
However, according to both Bo and the USPTO, Bo did send written communication to the USPTO, however, neither Bo nor the USPTO produced those documents.
The story did go in some very unexpected directions, and it has taken quite a bit of time and effort to unravel it all. It does get crazy confusing so I'd suggest that you read the two articles I published on Medium regarding the story, and the 30 minute update video I've sent with previous updates.
Below are the links to the Medium articles that should (I hope) clear up any confusion--meantime, please contact me through Kickstarter if you have any additional questions.
"From Kale to Doughnuts: Vermont's very long, sometimes misleading, often confusing tale of Eat More Kale":
"Kale, Kickstarter, and my lawsuit against the USPTO":
I must admit I'm completely confused. I thought I kickstarted a project BY BO. Now I've got updates from some guy who has had to file a suit to get information FROM BO?
I'm totally confused. I thought Bo was making this documentary about his "Eat More Kale" misadventure with Chick-fil-A.
Keep up the good work and updates James!
To those complaining the documentary should have been delivered, I think you are missing the point.
There are several Kickstarter projects I've written off but that's because the people behind them completely ceased posting updates, or would post an update saying more coming soon and then go silent, repeat.
James, however, has been regularly updating us with news, info, and the changing nature of this story as more information comes to light.
I have confidence that this will be worth the wait and ultimately we'll be glad he followed this story to the extent he did instead of finishing something just b/c the anticipated ship date had passed.
Hi Francis, thank you for your comment on Sunday's update --- and thank you for sticking it out with us all these years. We're on our way to wrapping up production. I agree that our documentary just hit an important milestone. Thanks again!
What a roller coaster of a ride this story has been. That twist is going to be a milestone for the documentary. Great work, James.
Thank you for your note, Faux-Operative Games -- and since we were the first Kickstarter you ever backed, I hope that when the film if finally finished, we do you proud (though, I don't think this experience of a story dragging on for this long is the norm; I've been a part of several other Kickstarter projects and all able to deliver pretty much on time).
Thanks again for your support -- don't hesitate to reach out with any additional questions or concerns.
This is the first Kickstarter I ever backed. During my long wait for it; I ran my own Kickstarter and then completed it, shipped all backer rewards and delivered the promised product.
I know the legal case took longer than you expected... but this documentary better be mind blowing after this long a wait.
I really think it's about time for you guys to finish up. :/
Hi Darva, thanks so much for your comment---and congratulations on your kickstarter and film!
Yes, it's a profoundly big undertaking to make a feature film and the technology and economics of filmmaking have made it an individual endeavor, too. It'd be great to have a whole team (that would definitely speed things up) but the economics just don't justify it.
In any event, congratulations on your movie, and thanks for keeping in touch! We're getting something out to our backers, soon. Take care and have a great holiday!
Just adding my 2 cents... I have just finished my own Kickstarter project... a Feature film that shot in 2013, that I thought would be finished six months later. Well ... three YEARS later we are finally finished, have been through the festival circuit, won many awards, got distribution, and are sending our DVD's etc... out to our backers. Some of them received things right away, of course, but people who backed for the film have been incredibly kind and patient as we learn the ropes (this was our first film. Yes, we started with a feature. And no, I had NO idea what I was getting myself into!). Three years later, I've had the education of a lifetime. My backers are getting a pretty darn good movie, and next time I'll have a more realistic time frame - AND I'll be quicker, because now I know how! :-)
Anyway, thanks for your frequent updates. I've never felt out of the loop, but I have felt for you... it was hard enough to get my film out without someone else being in charge of the important dates.
Well, the post sound department and composer. But that's a tale for another day.
Best of luck. Can't wait to see the thing!
October 4, 2016
Well, look where these Republicans were eating just before the VP debate!,, figures..
"Mr. Pence was greeted warmly by Senate Republicans when he joined them for a lunch of Chick-fil-A sandwiches" daily KOS
Hi Bobby, good to hear from you, again! You've posted similar comments like this many times before and I appreciate the opportunity to answer it again.
The case that we are following, the Eat More Kale trademark case, wrapped up on Labor Day of last year -- 2015. When we started this project in 2012 we had no way of knowing that it would drag out as long as it has.
Now that the legal case has wrapped up at the USPTO and Bo has received his trademark, we're following up on some very important questions, namely why did it take so long for this case to come to a conclusion? Why did the USPTO sit on Bo's application for so long -- so long, in fact, that a popular law blogger said he was prepared to attach the phrase "trademark bully" to the USPTO, itself. Why did it appear that even Bo's legal team was participating in a time-dragging legal strategy? And while virtually everybody including Bo benefitted from a long drawn out legal process, the issue of "trademark bullying" that is the subject of this film was languishing without a public recognition of how the laws have been expanded to benefit large brands at the expense of small businesses and artists. So did the USPTO and others deploy a time-dragging legal strategy to blunt the public controversy of trademark bullying, or for other reasons?
So we're doing what all good documentaries should be doing and following up on those questions. We've filed two Freedom of Information requests (FOIA) at the USPTO, including one appeal. We're also writing the whole documentary down in narrative form, as I've laid out in the past three or four posts. From those updates, you should have the links to our 75 pages report that is heavily researched and foot-noted; the links are still live. In addition to that, as we've posted links before with our footage, you know that we've shot a couple hundred hours of footage, traveled to 14 or so states -- even to Paris, France -- to film stories of others who have been "trademark bullied" along with interviews of many of the nation's leading trademark scholars from places like Stanford, Georgetown, NYU, Notre Dame, American University and William Mitchell College of Law.
So the bottom-line is this: what began as a simple "David vs Goliath" story between a T-shirt artist and a multi-billion dollar fast-food chain, has opened up to reveal a systemic problem with trademark laws that have been vastly expanded in the last 30 years to tilt the scales in favor of big brands over small businesses and artists. The expansion in, not only trademark law but all intellectual property laws is a big, complicated story that affects all of us, every day, in thousands of unacknowledged ways -- and we're taking our time to get it right.
As always, thank you for your interest and your support, Bobby.
Your words not mine" Estimated delivery: Dec 2012 " Currently April 2016 and no film. The film you are working on is not the one described in this KS. You currently have 60 updates and 177 comments, 0 finished product. 4 and a 1/2 years late. You are currently in my write off column along with Wooden promises, +5 food of eating. This project is a PR campaign and not a real project. You have been reported.
Please oh please include a piece on chick's menu addition of kale salad! I heard Bo on NPR commenting on it!
Hi Joanie, thanks for your comment -- I'm glad you've hung in there with us to this point!
As I've been sharing in all of our recent updates (our last one a little before Labor Day last month) Bo's case has dragged on for years and I'm super glad that we followed it to the very end. The case was literally settled last month when the USPTO finally issued Eat More Kale a trademark certificate. The inordinately long time and 'run out the clock' mentality of the trademark industry is an important part of the telling of our story.
Ours is a fascinating and maddening tale that has so much to say about who we are as a country (our "trademark" if you will), what we value and how we compete in the early 2000's. I'm taking seriously the responsibility to make our documentary and create it so that it isn't just "news" or a film that is consumed for just for a few weeks after it comes out. We're telling a story that has staying power -- and to do that takes time.
It might sound as though I'm playing for time, but truly I'm working round the clock on our film -- just in the past three weeks, I've re-interviewed trademark scholars from Stanford, Georgetown Law, NYU and a person I would refer to as the nation's leading expert on trademark bullying. I'm also writing the narrative and working on some critical animation for the film. It's a crazy-complicated subject and I hope you can hang in there with us a little longer.
As I stated in the our last update (are you still getting our updates?) in the coming months I'll be sharing with our backers some seriously significant parts of our story, and I hope you'll be pleased at far we're going and how deep we're diving to get it right. Nobody expected the case to last this long or the twists and turns it has taken -- but I think it's gonna make a great movie.
Truly, thank you for your support! Email or message me if you have any other questions or concerns and I'll be glad to address them.
Jim (the filmmaker)
Congrats on the fight won...but...So the original t-shirt I got by backing this campaign wore out long ago. The car with the sticker, sold. So where's the documentary download? Not checked off
Excellent ones! I just finally got around to reading thru Update #51, and, whew, I want to say thank you very, very much for sharing some of the information resources you've been examining (it certainly added to my reading list!) I am particularly intrigued with the mention of the citizen -vs- consumer paradigm, which jibes with a 'feeling' I've been having for some time now, just never been able to 'quantify' it quite like that. Perfect! It sure seems the so-called 'social experiment' we call America is evolving ever so rapidly at the consumer level, and deteriorating at the civic level. This, along with (an inherent in) Bo's dilemma, has presented us with fascinating and important topics to explore. Please take your time developing the story, as it needs to be told, and told well (we have an award winner in the making here). I am proud to even be just a part of the conversation. Keep up the great work!
Thanks for the very informative update. Please make the best movie you can and don't worry about the people who are complaining about the time period. I feel confident that my paltry backing "donation" was spent exactly as I intended it, and look forward to seeing a well thought out and complete documentary, instead of some half-baked short that asks more questions than it answers.
Bait and switch. I backed to get a documentary, instead I was involved in a revolt (not a bad thing). Auditing projects this is still not checked off.
Hi Linda F, thank you for your comment: 'best damn $15 I ever spent in my life' -- we love to hear things like that, especially after such an unexpectedly long slog. As for your invitation to speak at Penn State's Global Entrepreneurship Week, I'll forward your note to Bo as I know that he welcomes the opportunity to speak in public (he has a TEDx speech online called, "Accidental Activist"). It sounds like you have a wonderful program -- thanks for checking in with our documentary and we look forward to beginning the last stages of production. Thanks again! .... James Lantz
I hate kale but I love Bo!
Congratulations guys on prevailing. I have watched this for three years (really has it been three - maybe two?), used it as an example in an e-ship class that I co teach at Penn State and have been silently cheering you on. Best damn $15 I ever spent in my life. A bit embarrassing now to admit it was only $15. So here's an idea. I coordinate Penn State's response to Global Entrepreneurship Week. (www.gewpennstate.org - and national: http://us.gew.co ) We have a great week of events every year - 2015 will be Nov 15 to 20. I have almost no budget for speakers, but I can find travel money. I'd love to have you guys tell your story to a bunch of Penn State e-ship minded students. In 2014 we ran 78 events and had 5055 students, faculty, staff and community engaged in some way. So I might possibly be able to find someone to sponsor you coming in to State College, PA. Possibly. But first let me know if even interested. This has got to be excellent news for you. Huge shout out for your tenacity. Congrats all around. Linda Feltman
Hi Bobby, thank you for your note. Regarding your issue with the frequency of updates, please note that you listed the comment section and not the updates section as an example of the lag. Generally anybody can use the Comment section and we (the filmmakers) use the Update Section to communicate directly with our backers -- we've posted 44 updates since the beginning of the project in our goal to keep our backers informed on the progress of our film. Please let us know if you're not receiving our updates as we really want to keep you and all of our backers up to date with our progress -- we're truly grateful for your support! Our story just had another dramatic turn of events as noted in Update 44 and we're committed to following this story to its resolution. Once again, thank you for your support!
One favor, don't interfere when my "manger plus de merde" shirts are in production. I would not want folks confused and think I am promoting a chicken sandwich(ugh maybe the same thing) or a salad.
My complaint is the frequency of updates*. It allows imagination to run wild.
Comment section alone; James Lantz and Eat More Kale guy on April 6
The next comment (mine) Bobby Allen on August 7
My current count is 100 backed projects from every area. Very few delivered on time. Creators, in general, do not know what it takes to turn an idea into something real. That is the heart of Kickstarter. Close to 20% of the projects I have backed (that funded) have yet to deliver on their promises a year + after the estimated date. Those 20% are on my black list. You among them. If you were to start a new complain for Kale Cakes (quiche)I would not back it. I happen to like Kale Cakes. No one is pre-ordering anything on KS. You are supporting an idea and those can take much longer than expected. The last update... Are you really as heartless as your opposition? Ding Dong The Witch is dead.
*improved over the past few months.
Hi Liza, thank you for your note of encouragement! We're lucky to have backers like you on our side!
Bo, I tell everybody your story..
I have had a bumper sticker on my car since before the kickstarter campaign, and I give away your magnets and stickers all the time...
We love you.. I used to do fairs with you and I think the first time we met we swapped for some fleecy things with ruffly edges.. maybe not, but my kids fav vegetables in the early 2000's was kale, and then I ran into you in VT...
Hope they stop this stupid suit and let the movie get made1! we're rooting for you!!
Hey Francis, thank you SO MUCH for your comment -- truly! You can't imagine how much we appreciate it. It's great to hear from folks who really see the story we're trying to tell and understand that sometimes these things just take a little more time. Thank you so much for your patience! I hope we do you (and all of our backers) proud!
There has to be some corporate influence going on in the USTPO. A Defiant Dude is likely to cause a stir and bad PR for Chik-Fil-A when the film comes out not unlike Super Size Me did for McDonald's. Sadly, it's not inconceivable that corporations can influence our government.
Throughout this whole ordeal, though, it's been impressive how professional, informative, and optimistic the production for the film has been. You're all upstanding people and I very much look forward to the film. I got a sneak peek of it a year or so when they uploaded a 30-minute slice of it on Vimeo. That was very cool.
Hi Bobby, I'm sorry you're upset but I can assure you, our film keeps plowing ahead and we're very much in the trenches and keep making this film. Bo's legal case has dragged on far longer than any of us anticipated. Please read our updates so that you can keep abreast of all we're doing. Thanks again to you and all of our backers -- and please have patience.
Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Today is.... Aug 7th 2014...
You are on the never back a project from these fraudsters list.
You are not alone..
Hi Kathryn, no worries -- we'll fix you up. It could be that Kickstarter sent out a questionnaire that asked for your address and you didn't receive it or there was some other issue. Can you shoot me your address to adefiantdude at gmail dot com and we'll send you some stickers this week. Then, please check your Kickstarter preferences and see if you've inputted your mailing address and current contact info.
Finally, you can check up on all the doings on our film (we've sent out regular 39 Updates since our project began) by clicking on 'Updates' on our project's Kickstarter page. To answer your question, we've sent out clips of our film in progress, including a 30 minutes clip over Thanksgiving, but since Bo's case is still pending and in front of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, our film is not yet done. We're hoping that the USPTO will rule on whether or not Bo's 'Eat More Kale' is likely to cause confusion with Chick-fil-A's 'Eat Mor Chikin' slogan, soon. If the USPTO rules in Bo's favor, and he's able to successfully publish his trademark without any legal opposition from Chick-fil-A, and in turn, he gets an official US trademark for 'Eat More Kale,' then we'll have a potential ending to our film -- hopefully, that will all transpire, soon.
Thank you for being a supporter of our film!
Hi There, I'm sorry - I haven't been paying close attention as I backed this project two years ago... but, I pledged $30 and never received a sticker.. By the way, has the film come out yet? I haven't seen it yet...
Hi Linda, thanks for your comment! We'd LOVE to have a copy of that picture -- you can email it to adefiantdude at gmail dot com (or send us a note through Kickstarter). Thanks!
Hey guys. I've been watching this with fascination for two years but have never commented. Last week one of our staff had a birthday and someone brought in a cake made by 'The Cake Boss' which on the side of their box loudly proclaims "Eat More Cake". http://cakebosscakes.com/products.html Tracked them down online but their online photos do not show that side of the box. I actually took a picture of the side of the box with that slogan on it. I have no idea if that really matters - but if you want the picture, I need a place to forward. You probably already know about this - but thought on outside chance I'd pass it along. Good luck. Linda
Hi Dominic, we sent t-shirts and stickers out quite a while ago (though rewards tied to the actual movie won't be sent until the movie is complete), so if you haven't gotten your stickers yet there was a snafu. I'll look for your address and then we'll pop the stickers into the mail. Thanks for checking in, and for being a backer!
Hey man-- glad to see you guys are still pushing on. Any word on when those stickers will get sent out? I haven't gotten anything yet.
Hi Bobby, thanks for your comment! Our documentary is still in production and, unfortunately, will be for some time yet. Chick-fil-A and the USPTO have done a very good job of prolonging Bo's legal process and we're committed to following it to at least some sort of conclusion. We've filmed a lot of footage (about 200 hours) but we don't have an ending yet -- the last decision from the USPTO was actually a fine piece of indecision and they've requested yet more information from Bo and his lawyer. Bo's case is not looking good and we've interviewed several experts who agree that it's not looking good for Bo and his Eat More Kale design -- however, the case isn't settled and the ball is still in play -- there's still a chance that Bo could win. I think we'd be doing Bo and the documentary a great disservice by completing it before it has at least some sort of resolution. Meanwhile, we continue to deepen and enrich our footage with more shooting, editing and accumulating more team members. We recently added a person to our team who, just this year, was short-listed for an Academy Award for best documentary feature. We filmed a great interview with a kale farmer two weeks ago who is very much invested in Bo's case, and this coming week we're interviewing and following two activists and another follow-up interview with Bo. We continue seeking advice from some of the top documentary filmmakers in the country -- and, after our next round of interviews, we'll post another update here on Kickstarter. I can honestly say that our documentary production is still very much at work -- there's not a day that goes by that our film isn't being edited or shot in some capacity.
As always, thank you for your comment and your support. Even though Bo's case is taking longer than any of us could imagine, we truly take our commitment to you and all of our backers very seriously. I think we're cooking up a helluva documentary film for you and look forward to sharing it with all of our backers.
And the film promised for Dec is where?
Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Hey ya'll . . . if you haven't signed the petition yet, head over to http://www.change.org/petitions/chick-fil-a-stop-bullying-small-business-owners and sign. Then post on FB and tweet! Let's get this petition over 10K!
Hi Charles, thank you for your question (under the last update) and for your question below --- I'm going to answer both:
First regarding other small businesses: What we've been finding in our research and interviewing others involved in Trademark Infringement litigation (of the same nature that Bo is involved in with his battle with Chick-fil-A) is that many large corporations and big brands are often using intellectual property litigation against small businesses as a way of gaining market share in lieu of competition. What's happening is that the number of small businesses started and maintained in this country have dramatically dropped --- one expert we interviewed estimates that the number of small businesses have dropped by 50% in just the past couple of decades. What Bo is experiencing is actually part of a disturbing national trend of big businesses dominating markets by pushing out small businesses by using questionable legal tactics (such as cease and desist orders based on infringement claims) that involves courtrooms instead of the marketplace. And so, by showing small businesses that have closed around the country, we're raising the question: are these businesses closing due to legitimate business practices or, did they experience something similar to Bo (and some of the other businesses we've interviewed) where they were the victim of aggressive litigation tactics by a big brand or corporation.
Second question regarding the completion of the film: Bo is still waiting for a ruling from the USPTO and we're hoping to follow him through this part of his legal ordeal and have some closure tothe story (though we're not willing to wait indefinitely). The documentary has become significantly larger since its inception and what we've discovered is that Bo's case has become a reflection of a disturbing national trend that is significantly altering the way business is conducted in this country --- and the effect this change is having on small business, like Bo's. To date we've traveled to a dozen states and interviewed nearly 40 people including intellectual property experts as well as numerous small businesses affected by intellectual property litigation (some that have had to close) --- we're also closely following Bo's case and are hoping to have some closure by summer. We've connected with (and had interest from) several prominent film festivals as well as a couple of cable broadcasters. We're beginning to edit nearly 250 hours of footage and are excited to be at this point in the film. The bottom line: We want to do the best job possible on the film and get Bo as much exposure as possible and we're hoping to be completed by the end of summer when we'd like to begin submitting the film to numerous film festivals around the country. While it would have been great to have finished the film sooner, we feel a commitment to following Bo's case as it makes its way to its conclusion at the USPTO. Thank you for your patience and understanding; the bottom line is that we want to do the best job possible for Bo and all of our backers --- I think we're on to something here, and we're committed to seeing it through to its fully-realized completion.
Thanks again for your question! Hope to hear from you some more --- thank you, once again for your support!
Lights, Camera, Action. Can we be expecting our DVDs at the end of the month?
Has anyone seen this commercial? She's wearing an Eat More Kale shirt. http://www.youtube.com/watch…
Chick-fil-A has a posting on Facebook right right now that just screams for Kale as the answer! Go to https://www.facebook.com/ChickfilA/posts/10151171788895101
This user's account has been deleted.
You could probably make a mint off of documenting this Charles Carreon guy and the connection between copyright trolling and attacks on free speech. Keep up the good work!
Hi Matthew, the t-shirts have gone out already so we're looking into why you might not have received yours yet. We'll do some research and check into it --- one thing you can double check is to make sure that you filled out the survey (it's easy to miss the note from Kickstarter requesting that you fill out the survey) --- just log into your Kickstarter account and look for a message from Kickstarter requesting information. In the meantime, we'll be sure to check on this end, too. Either way, we assure you that you'll get your shirt --- thanks again for your support of our documentary!
Hey... May I get an update on t-shirt progress? The kick starter page says delivery "late April" and it's now mid-May.
I'm concerned I may have entered a wrong address or forgotten to press [Submt] or something else equally stupid :-/
Here is another interesting trademark dispute: San Diego Padres oppose application for PAWDRES (pet sitting) http://ow.ly/a9zTw
Here's his size chart: