Trademark law can be a tricky thing. On the one hand, you want to protect unique business practices from being ripped off by competitors. On the other hand, “unique” is in the eye of the beholder.
Just how far it can go is at the core of a recent story in the Wall Street Journal about a Wisconsin restaurateur who has trademarked having goats on his establishment's roof to attract attention and draw customers. And Lars Johnson, owner/proprietor of Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant in Sister Bay, will spare no expense or effort to protect that trademark. He and his legal team have gone as far as to threaten a gift shop in another town that had a fake goat affixed to its roof (it was removed).
All of the businesses whose goat-on-roof-related décor was flagged by Johnson's legal team have chosen to switch rather than fight, concluding that the legal head-butting wasn't worth the expense.