PepsiCo recently made waves with its purchase of SodaStream, but the company is now making news in the food business. This time the news is all about Pepsi’s Frito-Lay division, and its mischief making Chester Cheetah and his crunchy, cheesy, Cheetos brand. Pepsi recently sent a cease and desist letter to World Peas, a
Are pretzel crisps crumbling into genericness?
Marketing types and legal types who review labels, be well advised to choose words used carefully.
In other words, if you believe you own rights in Pretzel Crisps as a trademark, it’s not wise to use the number of so-called “Crisps” as the serving size, especially with no trademark notice symbol.
Frito-Lay’s successful 2014…
Coke Walks Tightrope in ZERO Branding
As you may recall, last September we wrote about Coca-Cola’s Significant Interest in Zero Marks, discussing Coca-Cola’s defense of a trademark infringement suit brought by an individual named Mirza Baig, who claimed rights in “Naturally Zero” for Canadian natural spring water, and Coca-Cola’s contrasting attempts to own and federally-register various marks containing the term…
Coca-Cola’s Significant Interest in Zero Marks
Coca-Cola just announced it is introducing Coke Zero in India, which will make it the sub-brand’s 149th market in the world, a truly remarkable reach.
As the popular Coke Zero brand is approaching its tenth anniversary in the U.S., it seems like a good time to explore Coca-Cola’s trademark position in COKE ZERO and COCA-COLA…
Packaging that Kills (a Trademark)
Killer packaging is a good thing. It can increase sales and establish a stronger emotional bond between the consumer and the product brand. The current packaging of Snack Factory’s Pretzel Crisps pretzel crackers might qualify as killer, but a long-anticipated and important trademark decision issued last Friday relied on an earlier version of the…
Crisps = Chips = Crackers?
Seeing these on the store shelf this weekend reminded me that we are still anxiously awaiting the USPTO’s decision from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) as to whether the words “pretzel crisps” will be found generic for “pretzel crackers” –basically, a public domain category or class of goods term, in the…
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
We continue to anxiously await the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s decision in Frito-Lay North America, Inc. v. Princeton Vanguard, LLC, especially given the Board’s recent genericness ruling in Sheetz of Delaware, Inc. v. Doctor’s Associates, Inc., finding FOOTLONG generic for “sandwiches, excluding hot dogs.”
The question at issue in Frito-Lay’s trademark challenge…
Tie Goes to the Brand or Generic Name?
Boys baseball occupied a fair portion of my evenings last week and this past weekend, a game where almost everyone has at least heard: The tie goes to the runner (when it comes to running the bases anyway — because when it comes to the final score the game continues until someone wins, even if…
There once was a day when being an "artisan" meant something: "A person or company that makes a high-quality, distinctive product in small quantities, usually by hand using traditional methods: artisan foods."
The key elements of an artisan’s handiwork seem to be hand-crafted, distinctive products of high-quality that are produced in small numbers. Perhaps bread from the local bakery, craft beer from the corner brewpub, unique cheese from a small dairy farm, and for the less edible, one-of-a-kind jewelry items, custom furniture pieces, and hand-painted household knickknacks.
But, nowadays, even a "major online service provider" in the field of intellectual property filings appears interested in suggesting or emulating the qualities of an artisan’s handiwork: Artisan IP.
Meanwhile, back to our discussion of "artisan" foods, I’m thinking it’s safe to say that when Domino’s Pizza adopts the term for its latest fast food pizza delivery offering, when Starbucks employs the term in naming its breakfast sandwich offering, and when Frito-Lay chooses Artisan Recipes as a trademark for its latest pre-packaged tortilla chip offering, true artisans must be in desperate search of a new title to reclaim their identity:
Foodette Reviews also has noticed the incongruity of mass merchandise national chains adopting the term. I just don’t think it makes one a "snob" to be bothered by the misdescriptive use.
Yet, I suppose "artisan" still means something, we’re just not sure what, at the moment, since it appears to be a moving target, as Nancy Friedman recently noted on her truly artisanal Fritinancy Blog (not to be confused with Artesians, of course).
According to Grub Street New York (hat tip to Nancy on this find), what appears to be certain is that the marketing cachet of the word "artisan" began its rapid demise into "meaninglessness" about a decade ago when the co-opting by "giant companies" began, in order to "hawk fast-food burgers and delivery pizza."
As a trademark type, given the larger-than-life bandwagon of those using the term "artisan" in connection with pizza (WeightWatchers, Wedge, Pitfire, Roundtable, Mario’s, Max & Leo’s, Mazzio’s, and Freschetta, among others), I’m left wondering whether Artisan Pizza is the next Brick Oven Pizza — namely, a new category of pizza, rendering the term generic, and free for all to use, assuming of course, the use is not false or misleading to consumers.
Last, but not least, for an excerpt from a 2003 Office Action from the USPTO refusing registration of ARTISAN as a trademark for "frozen pizza," based on deceptive misdescriptiveness, see below the jump.…