Brooks Sports Is Taking Brooks Brothers to Court
 Feb 2020

Brooks Sports Inc. is suing Brooks Brothers Group Inc. over alleged trademark infringement.

In court documents filed on Monday in the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Washington, sports apparel and footwear company Brooks Sports asked a judge to bar heritage clothier Brooks Brothers Group from using the “Brooks” moniker alone (without “Brothers”). Brooks Sports claimed that the name “Brooks” by itself is associated with its brand and sought to stop Brooks Brothers Group from using it on products to “prevent public confusion and dilution” of the name. Brooks Sports also sought damages for Brooks Brothers’ alleged unfair competition and breach of contract.

While Brooks Sports develops athletic-inspired performance shoes and clothing, Brooks Brothers designs ready-to-wear fashion. A trademark coexistence agreement, which allows two trademark owners to use similar marks with certain limitations, exists between the two companies, dating back to 1980.

In a statement to FN, Brooks Brothers wrote, “Brooks Brothers is disappointed to learn of Brooks Sports’ filing of the lawsuit. … Brooks Sports has recently decided to drop its path logo and begin using ‘Brooks’ on clothing in violation of the parties’ coexistence agreement. Brooks Brothers has objected to such use and is concerned that using ‘Brooks’ on clothing will cause confusion with Brooks Brothers’ famous brand.”

The statement concluded, “It is our intent to vigorously defend this lawsuit in order to continue to protect our brand as well as prevent confusion among consumers between our respective clothing lines, just as we have for the past 100 years.”

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Giant’s parent company slaps dog treat firm with trademark infringement lawsuit over one word
 Feb 2020

The Swiss-based parent company of Giant Food Stores has slapped a West Coast dog treat maker with a federal trademark infringement lawsuit.

The case, filed Wednesday, hinges on one word – “Companion.”
Ahold Delhaize Licensing claims in the U.S. Middle District Court suit that The Healthy Companion Co.’s name is too close to the title of its trademarked Companion brand of pet products.
It contends the Anaheim, Calif., company’s moniker is placing it in unfair and deceptive competition with the Companion products sold in Ahold’s Giant, Food Lion, Stop & Shop and Hannaford stores.

Healthy Companion has no right to use that name because it lost a bid to register it with the federal Patent and Trademark Office last year, Ahold claims. It says it opposed that application and the trademark office issued a default judgment blocking Healthy Companion from registering the name.
Ahold, which says it has used the Companion trademark since at least 1982, also sent a letter notifying Healthy Companion about the alleged infringement. It claims Healthy Companion is continuing to sell its products online under that name and is seeking to begin supplying retailers.
Ahold is asking Judge John E. Jones III to order Healthy Companion to stop using that name. It seeks unspecified financial damages equal to three times the amount of profit Healthy Companion amassed while using the dispute moniker and wants the judge to require that all Healthy Companion products be recalled and destroyed.

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Hershey Co. posts win by default in federal ‘cybersquatting’ lawsuit against Ukranian firm
 Feb 2020

A federal judge has granted The Hershey Company a victory by default against a Ukrainian chocolate maker Hershey accused of “cybersquatting” on its famed “KISSES” trademark.

The target of the suit, AnyKiss, never replied to the trademark-infringement lawsuit Hershey filed in April 2018, so U.S. Middle District Senior Judge Yvette Kane gave the midstate-based firm the win in the dispute.
KISSES has been Hershey's intellectual property since 1907, 13 years after Milton Hershey founded the firm. Hershey claimed AnyKiss began cybersquatting three years ago by using the domain name “kisschocalaterie.com.”

Cybersquatting occurs when one business tries to capitalize on the good name of another by using a domain name is so close to that of the victim that customers are confused. That is prohibited under the federal Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.
Hershey contended that AnyKiss tried unsuccessfully to register its KISS Chocolaterie mark with the U.S. Patent Office in 2016, and that the filing was rejected "based on confusion with the KISSES marks."
Kane awarded Hershey more than $141,000 in damages and legal fees. She ordered AnyKiss to stop imitating Hershey trademarks or products in any way and to remove infringing social media posts. The kisschocalaterie.com domain name must be transferred to Hershey as well, the judge ruled.

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City sues coffee company over logo
 Jan 2020

A trademark infringement complaint argues that a firefighter-run Rockford roaster's emblem too closely resembles that of the Chicago Fire Department.

The city of Chicago filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against a firefighter-owned coffee roaster in Rockford, arguing that the company’s logo is nearly identical to the Chicago Fire Department crest.
The city wants Fire Department Coffee to immediately destroy all products with its current label, a red stylized monogram with letters “F,” “D,” and “C” superimposed.
The city argues in the lawsuit, filed today in federal court, that the coffee company’s “use of the FDC Mark is likely to cause consumer confusion” and will lead people to “believe that the city is affiliated with, has sponsored, endorsed . . . or benefits from the organization, when this is not the case." (Read the lawsuit below.)
The federally trademarked Chicago Fire Department logo is nearly identical, with the red letters “C,” “F” and “D” also intertwined.

The Rockford-based craft coffee roaster is “run by firefighters,” according to its website, and donates 10 percent of all sales to support ill or injured firefighters and first responders.
“If there’s one thing we learned during our years in the military and fire service, it’s that a good cup of coffee and a well-timed jolt of caffeine are essential for long nights and high-octane lifestyles,” the company’s website says.
The city argues that the company’s logo is a “blatant attempt to exploit the goodwill of the CFD Mark” and is asking for monetary relief plus civil penalties of $10,000 for each violation of the city’s Consumer Fraud Ordinance.

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McCormick settles trademark lawsuit against rival spice company
 Jan 2020

Old Bay parent company McCormick and Co. settled a federal lawsuit Tuesday against a Pittsburgh-based spice company that produced a seasoning called New Bae.

McCormick filed the suit in late 2018, claiming trademark infringement against organic spice company Primal Palate. The Hunt Valley-based company argued in court records that New Bae was intended to create a wrongful association with Old Bay and to diminish its reputation.
The suit demanded that all profits from New Bae sales be paid to McCormick and that any products, merchandise or records bearing the name New Bae be destroyed.

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