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Hall and Oates Sue Company Over Haulin’ Oats Granola

Larry Busacca, Getty Images / EarlyBirdFoods.com

Message received: Pop stars are not into pun-based products. Hall and Oates have joined Don Henley in suing a company over using some variation of their name to sell something.

Daryl Hall and John Oates say a Brooklyn-based granola company is profiting off their trademark with an artisanal oatmeal blend called Haulin’ Oats. Their legal claim argues that the Early Bird company’s product “is an obvious play upon plaintiff’s well-known Hall and Oates mark, and was selected by defendant in an effort to trade off of the fame and notoriety associated with the artist’s and plaintiff’s well-known marks,” according to the New York Post.

A spokesperson for Hall and Oates reiterated the claim, in a talk with Rolling Stone. “Hall and Oates’ company, Whole Oats Enterprises, owns a federal trademark registration for the identical mark ‘Haulin Oats’ covering breakfast foods,” the spokesperson said. They stipulate that this bars its use in “connection with the sale of ‘Haulin Oats’-branded oatmeal by Whole Oats Enterprises’ licensee.”

The recently inducted Rock and Roll Hall of Famers filed suit in Brooklyn federal court. Early Bird grew out of a locally renowned restaurant called Franny’s. Haulin’ Oats granola is described as a “small-batch” offering and is sold in a three-pack for $27. A 12-pack is $104. The Early Bird website says it’s already being sold in 38 states, Europe and Japan.

Henley, meanwhile, made a similar legal claim in October. In that suit, he charged the Duluth Trading Company with infringing on his copyright by invoking the Eagles star’s name in an ad for its Henley-style shirts. An email advertising campaign had used the slogan “Don a Henley and Take It Easy.”

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