Dear Mr. Pierce,
This letter is to inform you that you must immediately cease & desist all production on your musical theater project, Tracksuit American. This so-called ‘musical comedy revue’ infringes on a number of Burger King Holdings, Inc.’s registered trademarks, which are fully protected under United States intellectual property laws, and you have received no authority to use those trademarks in your production. In addition, it is our position that the book of this play constitutes prosecutable libel against the Burger King Holdings, Inc., and in order to avoid criminal prosecution, we must ask that you curtail technical rehearsals of the production immediately.
First, ‘Burger King’ is a protected and registered trademark of Burger King Holdings, Inc. You have used it repeatedly without permission — indeed, even without having bothered to seek permission — a number of times in the production, most egregiously in the catchy but hurtful number titled “Hangin’ Out in the Parking Lot of the Burger King”. Your offer of July 22 to replace these repeated references with “Burga King” is, frankly, unsatisfactory. Our counteroffer of the use of “Burger Monarch” was, we feel, eminently fair, and to be honest, more conciliatory than we have any need to be; and your immediate rejection of it for possessing “poor scansion” is rather short-sighted and unreasonable.
Second, “Have It Your Way” is also a trademark of Burger King Holdings, and while your claim that its status as a common phrase in American English vernacular is technically valid, from a legal perspective, I think you will find that a judge would be more likely to see things “our way” when we present the footage of the scene in your play wherein a horribly overweight, disfigured actor wearing the uniform of a Burger King line cook becomes mentally confused and performs vile acts upon a Australian silky terrier while repeatedly bellowing the phrase. This is a clear attempt on your part to link Burger King’s memorable slogan with bestiality, animal cruelty and insanity, and not the “loving homage” you claim it to be.
Finally, the Whopper sandwich, along with every other burger available at Burger King restaurants, is made with 100% beef, USDA-approved and flame-broiled until juicy and delicious. It is not made with rat meat. Your repeated claim that it is made from pulverized rats (Act I, Scenes 1 & 2; Act II, Scene 3; Act III, Scenes 1 and especially 4 and scene 5 inclusive — the unfortunate “Enjoy Your Plague Meat, Suckers” number in particular — and the dance pageant entitled “Indigested Rodent Control”) is a clear case of libel, and failure to abide by the terms of this letter will result in immediate prosecution for same. Additionally, and we bring this to your attention as a personal kindness since we are under no obligation to do so, the music to “Rat Meat Whopper” is quite obviously lifted in its entirety from “Cat Scratch Fever”, and while we are not representing Mr. Nugent’s legal needs, we do know the firm that does, and would be more than willing to give them a call should you prove uncooperative.
If we may be open with you, Mr. Pierce, you are obviously a talented, or at least extremely dedicated, individual, and it is not the wish of Burger King Holdings, Inc. to, as you put it, “squash a young man’s dreams of making it big on the Great White Way like you would one of the thousands of filthy, disease-infested cockroaches that swarm over the deep fat fryers” in one of our restaurants. But I assume you can see from that very statement the unfortunate tendency you have to wrap up your aspirations, as well as your frustrations, in a corporate entity to which you have no relationship, and, more importantly, whose trademarks, service marks, and registered copyrighted materials are not yours to use. We must again ask you to cease and desist all production on this play, and we wish you the best of luck in your future career.
Executive Counsel, Burger King Holdings, Inc.
P.S. On a personal note, I found the “Fuck a Mickey D’s” song in Act I delightful.