Author Sues Chobani for Allegedly Ripping Off His ‘How’ Business Philosophy [Updated]
Corporate ethicist Dov Seidman's best-selling book How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything, besides having a subtitle that sounds like a Mensa brainteaser, also looks suspiciously like — his attorneys claim in a new lawsuit, anyway — "How Matters," the new, very corporate-ethics-y tagline Chobani launched earlier this year in a bunch of Super Bowl and Olympics ads (remember that yogurt-scrounging grizzly bear?).
The yogurt company dismisses all of this as "purely coincidental," but then there's this: Apparently at the exact time the company started using the #howmatters hashtag, it tweeted at Seidman, "Thanks for inspiring the world to care about 'how.' Can you help inspire the food industry, too?" There are other problems, too, like the fact that some ads even look strikingly similar to Seidman's inspiration-speak. (Chobani: "It's not just what you do, but how you do it that matters;" Seidman: "It's no longer what you do that matters most but how you do it.") At any rate, this is a federal showdown, so Chobani's yogurt mafia in Albany will likely be of no use.
Update: Through a representative, Chobani released a statement calling Dov Seidman's claims "baseless" and "desperate."
"We are disappointed that Dov Seidman would choose to challenge Chobani's trademarked phrase 'How Matters.' Mr. Seidman’s allegations are baseless, desperate and have no merit. Chobani chose 'How Matters' as its platform because it represents what Chobani has always stood for, making quality, wholesome Greek yogurt using only natural ingredients."