Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Backstory on the Fig Newton - Fig Newmans license

So I was reading my wife's Marie Claire yesterday and came across this interesting backstory on the licensing of the Fig Newton trademark. [Yes, I'm not ashamed to say that I read my wife's magazines. I'm a bit of a magazine junkie.]

Newman's Own Organics sell a fig cookie called Fig Newmans™. According to NOO's website:

The new cookie wouldn't have come to fruition without the cooperation of Kraft, as the name is being used under license from them. "We really salute Kraft for all their help with our Fig Newmans™," states Paul Newman.

Here's what Paul's daughter Nell told Marie Claire about the licensing:

Q: How did you ever convince Nabisco, the original owner of Fig Newtons, to let you use the name “Fig Newmans” for your fig bars?

A: My dad wrote a very sweet, short letter to the president of Nabisco that said, “My daughter’s got a great idea for a product. Could we sit down and talk about a small royalty deal? All the profits will go to charity.” And the guy just sent back a letter that said, “Dear Paul, I love what you’re doing, we’ll just say it’s a dollar a year, and I’d love to sit down and have a beer with you.” The legal department of Nabisco had a fit, but there was nothing they could do.

Way to go Nabisco/Kraft. From this, they've earned some good trademark karma and some good PR to boot.

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