OK Go have responded to a lawsuit that they’re currently facing from a cereal company over the right to continue using their name for a range of instant cereal cups.
According to cereal giant Post Foods, the band had been threatening to sue for months, claiming that the company had infringed trademark rights to the band’s name with the launch of the new portable snack last month under the name OK GO!, as revealed in their complaint filed in a Minnesota federal court (via Billboard).
“Without resolution by this court, Post will be unfairly forced to continue investing in its new OK GO! brand while under the constant threat of unfounded future litigation by defendants,” the company wrote in its lawsuit.
Post Foods is now seeking a “declaratory judgement” ruling that they haven’t done anything wrong.
In a statement to Billboard, OK Go said they were caught off guard by the lawsuit. “A big corporation chose to steal the name of our band to market disposable plastic cups of sugar to children. That was an unwelcome surprise, to say the least.
“But then they sue us about it? Presumably, the idea is that they can just bully us out of our own name, since they have so much more money to spend on lawyers? I guess that’s often how it works, but hopefully, we’ll be the exception.”
Now, the band has responded to the ongoing lawsuit with a post on social media.
“We have been sued by Post Foods,” the posted began, shared late yesterday (January 31). “Have you ever had your name stolen by a multi-billion-dollar food processing Goliath?”
The post then outlined three steps of how it “goes down”, writing: “1) They apply for a trademark on the name you’ve been using for 25 years. 2) You send a letter asking them to pick a different name, please. 3) They SUE YOU IN FEDERAL COURT.
“On top of it all, according to Post, this breakfast food is “ready to rock.” Very classy. #weareOKGO.”
Asked by one fan if there was “anything we can do to help”, singer and guitarist Damian Kulash replied: “repost! We think the law is on our side, but we’d love them to notice that actual real humans are, too.”
According to the lawsuit, OK Go’s lawyer previously sent a cease-and-desist letter to Post Foods in September 2022, alleging that the company’s new brand name would “suggest to consumers” that the band were endorsing the cereal giant’s products.
Of particular note was OK Go’s previous collaboration with Post Foods on a series of promotional videos for A Honey Bunches Of Oats in 2011.
A lawyer for the company replied to the claim shortly after, stating: “Given the length of time that has passed since that limited collaboration over a decade ago, the very small number of views indicated on the YouTube videos you referenced, and the general consuming public’s rather short attention span, it will also have absolutely no bearing on consumer perception of Post’s mark OK GO! used with cereal or cereal-based snacks, and will not lead to any mistaken association with OK Go.”
Post Foods claims that it then allegedly offered to pay OK Go as part of a “good faith effort” for a “branding collaboration/co-marketing arrangement”, but the band rejected the offer without providing a counter-proposal and made a “clear threat of potential litigation”.
Following the court filing, They Might Be Giants also supported the band with a Facebook post.