A Vermont folk artist who built a T-shirt business around the phrase "eat more kale" says the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has given him a "preliminary no" in his effort to protect it after the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain complained.
Montpelier resident Bo Muller-Moore says he had expected Monday's ruling to be more definitive. He says he has six months to respond to it.
Chick-fil-A has argued Muller-Moore's T-shirt infringes on its trademarked "eat mor chikin" slogan.
The legal fight over "eat more kale" prompted Gov. Peter Shumlin to say in December 2011 the state would do all it could to help Muller-Moore against Chick-fil-A.
Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A sells chicken sandwiches and sides. It made headlines last summer over its president's comments opposing gay marriage. It hasn't responded to an emailed request for comment on the "eat more kale" ruling.