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Tuesday 22 November 2011

Patricia Covarrubia

Toucans may be facing in different directions but they may be sharing in the caring of a culture

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Today I bring you the news of the battle of the toucans – reported here. You may remember that the Maya Archaeology Initiative (MAI) received a letter from Kellogg’s lawyers asserting that its logo infringes on its trade mark. The disputed logo was a toucan: Kellogg’s logo is a colourful cartoon toucan - promoting its Froot Loops breakfast cereal, while MAI’s logo is a realistic and common toucan shown in front of a Maya pyramid.

The battle received press coverage on one hand because MAI is a non-profit project that defends the Mayan culture and the biosphere in Guatemala and on the other, because Kellogg tried to play dirty by placing in the game ‘Adventure series’ that had a Mayan setting a villain character of colour who was an evil witchdoctor who cackles and steals (MAI’s toucan).

Even though Kellogg immediately took the game off of its website there were no signs of what was going to happen to the MAI’s logo – was it an infringement?

Last week, the toucans became friends!
Kris Charles, Kellogg's vice president for global communications announced "After conversations with MAI to better understand how they intend to use this design, we worked with them to identify an approach to revise their trademark application that will enable them to continue using their logo for their not-for-profit fundraising efforts”.

The toucans become more than friends
MAI reported that "Kellogg is making a USD$100,000 contribution to help launch one of the MAI’s priority projects to improve the lives of the Maya people in a region rich in cultural heritage but lacking in access to education and economic opportunities."

I do love happy endings.

Patricia Covarrubia

Patricia Covarrubia