Unilever to People’s Pops: Cease and Desist the ‘Popsicle’ Stuff


Sometimes a grudge match is of the juicy, meaty variety, and sometimes it produces a deep chill. Case in point: the cease and desist letter that People’s Pops received from Unilever demanding that the former halt its use of the word “popsicle.”

On Saturday, the people of People’s Pops took to their blog to reprint the letter from Unilever’s lawyers, which stated that “[b]ecause POPSICLE® is Unilever’s registered trademark Unilever must request that you replace all of the references to ‘popsicle’ and ‘popsicles’ … with proper generic terminology such as ‘ice pop(s).'”


It seems that “Popsicle” has been a registered trademark since 1924, when Frank Epperson applied for a patent for the frozen treat he’d first created 19 years earlier, as an 11-year-old. In 1925, he sold the rights to the Joe Lowe Company in New York, and in 1989, Good Humor, a subsidiary of Unilever, bought them.

Even though the word has become synonymous with just about any iteration of frozen fruit on a stick, it’s not a generic term. “Ice pop,” however, is, and that’s the term that People’s Pops will now use on their blog, however awkward and endearingly antiquated it sounds. Regardless of what they’re called, the Pops people write that “our ice pops still taste better,” proving that revenge is a dish best served cold.

[Via Grub Street]