Back in 2014, restaurant chain Olive Garden began a special promotion called Never Ending Pasta Passes, which offered unlimited meals for seven weeks at a set price. At that time, Vincent "Vino" Malone started a blog called All of Garden to chronicle his experience of eating nothing but Olive Garden food for the length of a Pasta Pass. Since then, he’s repeatedly changed up his Olive Garden eating challenges to include things like an “alllovegarden,” which involved using the Pasta Pass on 50 first dates with 50 different people.
Malone told Gizmodo the blog is “my passion project.”
Recently the blogger received a cease-and-desist from Olive Garden’s parent company, Darden, claiming that his use of the phrase “Olive Garden” as metatags and keywords on his blog infringed its intellectual property rights, which could lead consumers to believe the blog was affiliated with the restaurant.
Malone responded that his use of the Olive Garden name was nominative fair use: “I am not aware of any law against reviewing food and describing it using the name of the company from which it was procured.”
It appears that Olive Garden agreed. In a communication from the restaurant chain published on Darden’s blog, Olive Garden has agreed to “take no further action to the letter you received so long as you continue to respect our brand.” Plus, Olive Garden is sending him a $50 gift card and a “fun surprise.” You can read Darden’s limerick version of the story’s conclusion in full on his blog.