Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tobias Wong and Ju$t Another Rich Kid | Cokespoon #2

Cokespoon #2 is a McDonald's coffee stirrer cast in gold and sold for $295 in 2005 (Cokespoon #1 was a gold Bic pen cap). Artists/designers Tobias Wong and Ju$t Another Rich Kid purchased the original stick, now discontinued by the fast food chain, on Ebay. In the late seventies McDonalds were alerted by law enforcement agencies that the spoons were popular with users of cocaine, and promptly redesigned the stir stick to have a flat paddle. 

On February 12th, 2007, lawyers for McDonalds demanded the immediate halt of the "sale of gold-plated beverage stirs and any other items bearing McDonald's marks." Unlike copyright law, which is often flexible enough to give artists a modicum of maneuverability, trademark law is notoriously strict, and cases that side with the defendant are rare. McDonalds argued that it was protecting the integrity of of it's brand trademark and that "any dilution of that, or any association without McDonald's approval to third parties, entities or objects, is an erosion of [the] trust that we have with our customers."

"It's a shame because I don't think there's any intent in damning anybody's reputation," said Philip Wood, whose store CITIZEN: Citizen pulled the spoons from their stock in response to the letter. "It really is a comment on how these objects change shape when they get into 

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