This week, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Circuit granted the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC)’s motion to intervene in the lawsuit brought by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) over the sale of the Pork. The Other White Meat trademarks.
The decision comes two weeks after USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) decided to continue approving the National Pork Board’s annual payments for the trademarks. NPPC sold the trademarks to the National Pork Board in 2006 for about $35 million. NPPC financed the purchase over 20 years, making the Pork Board’s annual payment $3 million.
In 2012, HSUS, a lone Iowa farmer and the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement filed suit against USDA and sought to have the sale rescinded. The U.S. District Court dismissed the suit for lack of standing, but a federal appeals court in August 2015 reinstated it. USDA agreed to review the purchase, including conducting a valuation of the trademarks. In a frequently-asked-questions document on its website, AMS said the value of the four trademarks is between $113 million and $132 million. The animal-rights group claimed they only are worth between about $2.6 million and $17.6 million.