Subway has sent cease and desist letters to mom & pop sandwich shops around the nation demanding that they stop using the word “footlong” to describe anything on their menus that is…footlong.
“You are hereby put on notice to cease and desist from using FOOTLONG (TM) association with sandwiches. You must immediately remove all references to FOOTLONG (TM) in association with sandwiches.” NPR asked Subway to explain itself and got this response: “Any legal process we go through is to protect the investment our franchisees have made in the brand,” Kane told me. “If ‘footlong’ is a name that’s been associated with us, it would benefit them that we would take an action like this to protect the association.”
Read one of the letters here. (PDF)