It seemed like a natural phrase for a new, inspirational presidential campaign: Yes, we can. But, as it turns out, it has been the trademarked slogan for the National Center for Home Food Preservation and Canning ----the trade association folks in DC who advocate for the many ‘canning’ companies around the nation.
“It’s outrageous,” declared Homer “Deacon” Jones Jr., the president and grandson of the founder of the Intercourse Canning Company of Intercourse, Pennsylvania. “Over the years, we have suffered enough from the ‘Intercourse’ jokes. My father, Homer Sr, and his father, Malcolm before him, just took it all in stride. But when someone takes our prideful slogan, ‘Yes, we can!’ and usurps it for political purposes, well that makes my blood boil. That slogan is known all over the country for just one thing: Canning.” Mr. Jones was the President of the National Center for Home Food Preservation and Canning from 1996 – 2002.
Other canning companies around the country were similarly upset. “We have enough competition from the bottling companies, the cardboard manufacturers, and the plastic container folks. We really don’t need this right now,” added Lester Boyles, CEO of the Colusa Canning Company of Colusa County, California. “I support Obama and all, but, dang, don’t that beat all.” Mr. Boyles was one of the canning company executive presidents present at a “No, You Can’t” rally on a rainy Tuesday last week, which drew more than 35 people.
And that’s not all: The Obama campaign may be looking at a similar lawsuit on the international trademark front---this one from France. “Yes Oui Cannes”, it seems, is the newly minted slogan for the Cannes Film Festival. “Mon Dieu, c'est scandaleux!”, declared Jean-Luc Rudehomme, the spokesperson for the prestigious 62 year-old film festival set on the south of France.
In similar news, the semi-pro wrestler “Country Joe” Furst, 36, [born Joseph Furstenberger] of Calvin County, Oklahoma, upon hearing about the legal problems Obama may face, is considering a possible trademark infringement action against the McCain campaign. “It’s on my to-do list, right after my big cage match this weekend in Tuklsa,” shared Mr. Furst. “That’s outrageous. Using my name like that to popularize his presidential campaign.”
The McCain campaign could not be reached for comment.