Now Inman is about to be back in court.
The comic teamed up with the company that owns the Papyrus chain of card and gift shops, Recycled Greetings, to sell paper greeting cards of his Web comics via the The Oatmeal’s Web store, along with other novelty items. But that caught the attention of Oatmeal Studios, a Massachusetts greeting card company that says it’s been selling greeting cards under that name for 35 years. Oatmeal Studios sued Inman and Recycled Greetings, claiming a trademark on the phrase “Oatmeal Studios.” In a complaint filed in Boston federal court earlier today, Oatmeal Studios says that Inman’s use of The Oatmeal is too similar, and likely to confuse consumers, who may believe the businesses are related.
The suit [PDF] has only one count—trademark infringement—and doesn’t include any specific damage demand. Neither Inman nor officials at Oatmeal Studios immediately responded to requests for comment.