As you may have seen on the Internet's number one non-pasta-related site, Reddit, I'm currently in the midst of what I can only assume is a huge misunderstanding with Darden about my use of their trademarks. I will keep all my fans updated here with the happenings in real-time.
For future reference, here is the full text of the email.
After discussion with many internet people who could possibly be lawyers I have emailed this reply. I am awaiting their response.
date: Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 10:01 AM
To Whom It May Concern:
As you are likely aware, Darden is a full-service restaurant company, and owns and operates over 1,500 restaurants through subsidiaries under the Olive Garden®, LongHorn Steakhouse®, The Capital Grille®, Yard House®, Seasons 52®, Bahama Breeze®, and Eddie V's Prime Seafood® brands and has a portfolio of over 650 trademarks in over 70 countries related to the same (collectively "Trademarks”.)
In connection with Darden Corporation’s proprietary rights over its famous trademark(s) we are notifying you of the following:
Darden Corporation has recently learned that the trademark Olive Garden appears as a metatag, keyword, visible or hidden text on the web site(s) located at the below listed URL(s) without having obtained prior written authorization from Darden Corporation. This practice infringes upon the exclusive intellectual property rights of Darden Corporation.
As a trademark owner, Darden Corporation is obligated to enforce its rights by taking action to ensure that others do not use its trademarks without permission. Unauthorized use of the trademark(s) could create a likelihood of confusion with Darden Corporation’s trademark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site(s), online location(s), products or services.
In light of the above, we request that you respond to this e-mail within ten (10) days, informing us that you have removed all metatags, keywords, visible or hidden texts including trademark(s) presently appearing on the above-cited website(s) and any other website(s), or draw this issue to the attention of the appropriate person(s).
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter.
date: Wed, Jul 19, 2017 at 8:47 AM
Mr. Forcements -- may I call you Branden? Since this an asynchronous mode of communication, I'm going to assume you are magnanimously acquiescing, and I will refer to you as Branden forthwith -- I received your email yesterday.
I am not aware of any law against reviewing food and describing it using the name of the company from which it was procured. Some might even call it Nominative Fair Use. I have helpfully included a link to Wikipedia™, The Free Encyclopedia™, for more information on this concept, in case you are new. Just click on the blue words to access the HyperLink™, and you will be transported there in great haste.
With that in mind, can you be more specific about what you would like me to do? If you want me to remove references to the Olive Garden from my blog, which, I remind you, solely consists of references to Olive Garden, I'm afraid I must decline.
If you are asking me to simply add TradeMark® Symbols™ I must also decline, as I do not know the alt keycode for writing them.
Perhaps you are asking me to take down my blog entirely. In doing so, Darden Corporation would commit its largest crime against humanity since they started charging extra for toppings. Seriously, $2.99 for two lousy meatballs? And you're saying I ripped you off?
Please respond within nine (9) days, in limerick form.
Wishing the whole Forcements family a pleasant day,
Vincent "Vino" Malone
Olive Garden Connoisseur
Age 29 and a Half