Filed in the Northern District of Texas, Merrick Pet Care, Inc. versus Blue Buffalo Company, Ltd 5/17/2010; Complaint for Trademark infringement and unfair competition. Here’s the details, you decide if this is a fair lawsuit.
It seems that Merrick Pet Care believes that Blue Buffalo Company has infringed on trademark protected pet food names. “Thanksgiving Day Dinner and Grammy’s Pot Pie are federally registered marks (Registration Nos. 3,350,890 and 3,287,558 respectively).” “Blue Buffalo has recently begun promoting a product line with four (4) products called “Family Favorite Recipes.” Three of the four products in the Family Favorite Recipes line bear similar names to the Merrick names listed above. The names used by Blue Buffalo are Thanksgiving Feast, Chicken Pot Pie and Turducken.”
The complaint filed by Merrick Pet Care states “The Thanksgiving Day Feast and Chicken Pot Pie names are a colorable imitation of Merrick’s Thanksgiving Day Dinner and Grammy’s Pot Pie registered marks. Blue Buffalo has applied these colorable imitations to its labels, product packaging and advertisements in connection with the sale, offering for sale, distribution, or advertising of pet food in a manner which is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake or to deceive.”
Merrick Pet Care is asking for the following “Relief and Damages”:
“As a direct and proximate result of Blue Buffalo’s conduct, Merrick is entitled to the following:
a. A preliminary and permanent injunction enjoining Blue Buffalo from infringing Merrick’s registered trademarks;
b. Statutory damages, including damages for willful infringement or, in the alternative, actual damages, plus the amount of Blue Buffalo’s profits attributable to the infringement;
c. Attorneys’ fees and costs of court.”
So…if you were judge and jury, what do you think? No belief of quality of grade of ingredients of either of these foods should influence you; just given the above facts, did – in your opinion – did Blue Buffalo infringe on Merrick’s trademarked pet food names?
If you’d like to read the full complaint, go to: http://dockets.justia.com/docket/texas/txndce/2:2010cv00115/196364/
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Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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