To Battle Creek-based Kellogg, it looks too close to Toucan Sam on boxes of its Froot Loops.
"This is a bit like the Washington Redskins claiming trademark infringement against the National Congress of American Indians," Dr. Francisco Estrada, president of the Maya Archaeology Initiative, said in a statement Monday.
Kellogg is objecting to the Maya Archaeology Initiative's application for a trademark for its toucan logo.
"We are concerned about both consumer confusion and a dilution of our strong equity in these marks. Kellogg is also concerned by the inclusion of the Mayan imagery in the mark, given that our character is frequently depicted in that setting," wrote David Herdman, Kellogg corporate counsel, in a July 19 letter to the organization.
In its response written to Kellogg, the Maya Archaeology Initiative said its own logo uses a realistic toucan, while Kellogg's Toucan Sam is a cartoon character with colors that represent Froot Loops' food coloring.
The Maya Archaeology Initiative promotes education opportunities for Maya children, archaeological work and defense of the rainforest.
Comment: Let's see: black pupil surrounded by white iris...black beak tip...open mouth...white on the throat. Yep, the two toucans are practically identical.
Actually, the two logos have nothing in common except using toucans. This is a typical example of a big business using its power to control the market. In this case, by a frivolous attempt to monopolize toucan logos.
For more on Native-oriented business conflicts, see Bo Jackson Ad Harms Native Company and Tulalip Tribe Protests Microsoft Codename.