"The name and mark Haulin’ Oats is an obvious play upon Plaintiff’s well-known Hall & Oates mark, and was selected by defendant in an effort to trade off of the fame and notoriety associated with the artist’s and plaintiff’s well-known marks," the group claimed in the suit. A spokesperson for the group reiterated this claim when reached for comment by Rolling Stone, adding that group owns the registration for "Haulin Oats."
"Hall and Oates' company, Whole Oats Enterprises, owns a Federal Trademark Registration for the identical mark 'Haulin Oats' covering breakfast foods that is used in connection with the sale of 'Haulin Oats' branded oatmeal by Whole Oats Enterprises’ licensee," the spokesperson said.
"Early Bird Foods' use of the mark on their own products is likely to confuse consumers and lead them to believe that such products are affiliated with or approved by Hall and Oates, which is not the case," he continued. "Prior attempts to discuss this matter with Early Bird Foods were unsuccessful and Whole Oats was left with no other choice but to file suit in order to protect its valuable marks and goodwill."
While the band is both seeking damages from Early Bird and insisting that the company change the name of the product, owner Nekisia Davis did not appear to be phased by the lawsuit, responding to Rolling Stone's request for comment with a simple, "Say it isn't so." Davis also noted that Early Bird is offering a 25 percent discount on bags of Haulin' Oats through the weekend with the coupon code SAYITISNTSO.
Amidst their litigiousness, Hall and Oates have a number of tour dates lined up for the spring and summer, starting with a few one-off dates followed by short treks in May and June.