OK Go: cereal giant and indie rockers in legal battle over name the band had first

I will go on record and say that I think OK Go is an incredibly underrated band. Sure, everyone talks up their fancy music videos — which are certainly great! But we don't talk enough about that band's songwriting and musicianship, the way they marry a garage-y post-punk sound with unconventional rhythms filtered through a Prince-like pop lens. They're a genuinely fantastic band!

I can go on and on about that topic, though also lost in the discussion is how the band has maintained a DIY attitude even in their business ventures, which I frankly find commendable as well. Knowing that it's tough to make a living off of album sales, OK Go took an unconventional route into brand collaborations while still playing by their own rules. Sure, those music videos are cool — but it's also pretty cool how they find other people to pay for their elaborate stunts. It's Warholian performance art, and I think that's punk as fuck.

Unfortunately, Post Foods disagree. The multinational conglomerate launched a brand of instant cereal cup called OK Go! — get it? cuz you eat them on the go? — without any actual involvement from the band (who, again, have demonstrated a clever business savvy). OK Go said "Hey, knock it off" and sent a cease-and-desist, claiming trademark infringement. So Post sued them. Via NME:

According to the company's filing in Minnesota federal court via Billboard, the band had been threatening to sue for months and Post Foods would be "unfairly forced to continue investing in its new OK GO! brand while under the constant threat of unfounded future litigation by defendants."

The company is now seeking a declaratory judgement ruling that they haven't done anything wrong, citing its trademark application for OK Go! that was allegedly approved in 2022.

According to Post Foods, the United States Patent and Trademark Office did not find the cereal line's name would cause confusion with the name of the band, OK Go.

In a statement, the band said:

A big corporation chose to steal the name of our band to market disposable plastic cups of sugar to children. That was an unwelcome surprise, to say the least.

But then they sue US about it? Presumably, the idea is that they can just bully us out of our own name, since they have so much more money to spend on lawyers? I guess that's often how it works, but hopefully, we'll be the exception.

Oh, darling. You're a million ways to be cruel.

OK Go are being sued by Post Foods over right to use band's name for instant cereal [Damian Jones / NME]