Hormel Foods today filed a lawsuit in third district court against Norton Antivirus Utilities, claiming that their new software tool “SpamSux” was defamation against one of Hormel’s signature products, potted meat byproduct Spam.
“We’ve been monitoring the development of this term with some concern for a long time,” said Kevin Morhel, chairman of Hormel. “It was kind of funny at first, people calling unwanted e-mails spam. But it’s gotten way out of control now, and for Norton to release a product that directly assails our product is totally unacceptable.”
“It’s not just about products, it’s about language,” said Loady Panka from Thug and Balless law offices, representing Hormel in the suit. “We want this term changed in the so-called Internet Blogosphere to something that does not impugn this fine product, which is enjoyed by starving people and desperate animals around the world. Instead of calling unwanted e-mails Spam, why not call them ‘Hot Pockets’ or ‘Vegetarian Meals’? That would make a lot more sense”
The lawsuit comes after third district court judge Linda Potentate ruled in Hormel’s favor in the case “Hormel v Monty Python” for their stage production of Spamalot. The judge ruled that the play did damage the reputation of the food, “although not as much as the taste of it does” she noted in her ruling.
Legal analysts were split about the upcoming court case, with one noting that “It seems like anybody who has to eat spam probably doesn’t use a computer, so I can’t imagine why Hormel even cares.”