Matthew Inman

Matthew Inman, the Seattle-based webcomic artist better known as The Oatmeal, responded to a threat of litigation earlier this year by launching a campaign to raise $20,000 for charity and drawing a picture of the threatening lawyer’s mother getting friendly with a bear. Ultimately he raised more than 10 times that amount for the National Wildlife Foundation and the American Cancer Society and sent the lawyer a picture of the money in the shape of a giant “FU.”

What will he do this time?

Inman has been sued for trademark infringement by a Massachusetts-based company, Excelsior Printing, that uses the name Oatmeal Studios to sell greeting cards and related products. The suit was filed this week against Inman and Recycled Greetings, which partners with him to offer greeting cards as one of the products available on his site.

Maybe they haven’t read the press about his previous legal dispute?

Ars Technica first spotted and reported on the suit. No comment from Inman yet, but we’ll let you know if he has anything to say on the subject.

[Editor’s Note: We’ve selected Inman as one of our GeekWire Newsmakers of 2012, also recognizing his “Let’s Build a Goddamn Tesla Museum” campaign to honor Nikola Tesla, as the “greatest geek who ever lived.” Stay tuned for more details on this recognition in the coming days.]

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  • James

    I tend to think they “did” read the press about the last legal suit and made the decision they could also get national attention like last time. If you weigh out the cost of the legal fees against the possible upside from getting your name out there and signing up new customers it could be a potential win-fall for them. I am not saying it is right but certainly a legitimate argument.

  • Guest

    So basically I should boycott anything sold by Excelsior Printing then. Okay, no problem… done!

  • The_Tim

    While it does seem like overkill to jump straight to a lawsuit (rather than just sending a friendly letter like Jack Daniels did recently), it does seem like they have a legitimate point. A company called “The Oatmeal” selling greeting cards does seem similar enough as to be infringing on their trademark to use “Oatmeal Studios” to sell greeting cards. IANAL of course.

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