Trademark Registration for Rooftop goats?
Lars Johnson’s Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant boasts enticing Swedish-meatball sandwiches and pickled herring, but what really attracts customers to Lars’s Restaurant are the goats that will be grazing above patrons on the grass covered roof.
An ABAJournal article states that this goat-roofed restaurant located in Sister Bay, Wisconsin, has been using rooftop goats to attract business 1973 when a goat was given to Lars as a gag gift.
Lars trademarked the rooftop goats marketing ploy in 1996 and since then has doggedly (or should we say goatishly) pursued action against instances of alleged infringement of intellectual property (IP). Indeed, the Wall Street Journal reported that;
Since getting the trademark, Lars hasn’t hesitated to protect his rooftop goats trademark against infringers. A Wisconsin gift shop that for a short time displayed a fake goat on its roof was sent an effective cease-and-desist letter. While a gift shop and a grocer in Georgia was named defendant in a federal trademark infringement lawsuit.
Update: the Georgia gift shop and grocer d/b/a the Tiger Mountain Market now pays a licensing fee to Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant to use rooftop goats.