As did many other kids growing up in the 1960s and ‘70s, Jerry Seinfeld loved Pop Tarts. After his “Unfrosted” movie—which compares the race to create Pop Tarts to the race to land on the moon—debuted May 3, Pop Tarts made a public effort to love him back.

One might assume Seinfeld had permission from Kellogg’s, the maker of Pop Tarts, to use the trademark. Not only is that incorrect, but Seinfeld has mentioned many times that Kellogg’s did not authorize it.

This is where intellectual property can be fun.

Not only did Kellogg’s—now Kellanova—not respond with a lawsuit, it produced limited-edition Unfrosted Strawberry “Trat-Pops” packaging, as seen in the film. (In the movie, a character portraying TV newsman Walter Cronkite accidentally reads the product name backward, and the prototype packaging comes out that way.)

Kellanova also created a fun, two-minute video spoof that shows Kellogg’s executives calling in Seinfeld for trademark infringement. Go to

Kellanova might not have had any choice other than to just grin and share it.

As IP attorney Bryan Wheelock noted in a story on IPWatchdog, trademark law only offers two basic protections: 1) against infringements, via users who are likely to cause confusion about the source of the original product; and 2) dilution, or uses likely to dilute a mark’s distinctiveness or tarnish its reputation.

Also, parody is often cited as another exception to trademark protection, particularly concerning dilution. So in this case, everyone has a good time while creating goodwill.—Reid Creager