“I am the Lorax: Cease and desist.”
That is the message coming from Dr. Seuss Enterprises to LoraxAg, a coal gasification startup that named itself without permission after Dr. Seuss’s beloved environmental hero. Last week, the Wonk Room notified the defenders of Dr. Seuss’s intellectual property that a coal company was draping its coal-to-chemicals technology in truffula trees. Now, the New York Times reports that Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ Karl ZoBell has sent a cease-and-desist letter to the company, as “we do not license the use of Dr. Seuss’s works for other companies to make a profit”:
They should be creative enough to come up with their own name for their company. Dr. Seuss coined this phrase. The term did not exist until he invented it.
LoraxAg claims not to have received the cease-and-desist notice. If necessary, Zobell said, Dr. Seuss Enterprises would “seek relief — and possibly damages — from the courts.”
“I am amazed that nobody suggested to them that this is a bad idea,” ZoBell told the New York Times. However, this is typical behavior for dirty coal operatives. The coal industry has gone to absurd heights to greenwash its toxic and dirty reality, from Frosty the Coalman carols to coal ringtones.
The Boston Globe weighs in:
The company’s green aspirations are laudable, but it should either venture into cleaner businesses than coal or drop the disingenuous name, as Dr. Seuss’s copyright holders are requesting. Or perhaps the company can negotiate a more apt mascot, like the mischievous Cat in the Hat.