Frito-Lay again victorious in excess of ruling of generic ‘pretzel crisps’ trademark

Tom Smith

At the time once again, a federal courtroom choose dominated in favour of PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay, which was demanding the validity of Snyder’s registration of ‘pretzel crisps’. Choose Kenneth Bell decreed that a single business are unable to monopolise the expression ‘pretzel crisps’, even with concerted endeavours by Snyder’s because 2009 […]

At the time once again, a federal courtroom choose dominated in favour of PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay, which was demanding the validity of Snyder’s registration of ‘pretzel crisps’.

Choose Kenneth Bell decreed that a single business are unable to monopolise the expression ‘pretzel crisps’, even with concerted endeavours by Snyder’s because 2009 to sign-up it as a federal trademark.

The 12-yr saga

Princeton Vanguard – which was acquired by Snyder’s in 2012 – used for a ‘Pretzel Crisps’ federal trademark for its flat pretzel crackers in 2004.

The US Patent and Trademark Business office (USPTO) registered the mark on its supplemental register fairly than the principal sign up due to the fact it was considered descriptive.

Princeton reapplied for registration on the principal register in 2009, contending the time period experienced become a recognised manufacturer identify for its treats. On the other hand, Rold Gold pretzel maker Frito-Lay countered the argument, stating the phrase was a generic description for that course of treats and thus could not be registered.

Two federal appeals courts – the 7th​ Circuit in 2014 and the 9th​ Circuit in 2017 – have subsequently ruled that the mark is generic. Yet again, the most recent ruling by the 4th​ US Circuit Courtroom of Appeals dismissed the argument set forward by Snyder’s (now owned by Campbell Soup Company​​).

In accordance to Decide Bell, even though ‘pretzel crisps’ is broadly assumed by shoppers to refer to Snyder’s treats – mostly many thanks to its trademark registration efforts to “clear the field”​ of similarly named solutions – the producer can’t “monopolise the widespread name”.

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