There is no question that attempting to own “hot” or versions of “hot” appears to have great value and importance in the marketing world. So, how many original, unique, and memorable ways are there to communicate spicy “hot” anyway?
As to memorable, perhaps painfully memorable, Paris Hilton apparently sells designer clothes under her “That’s Hot” brand, and judging from her pending federal trademark filings, she still has an intention of expanding her “That’s Hot” brand to cell phones and alcoholic beverages, among other items, but apparently not buffalo chicken wing sauce or potato chips, thankfully.
Otherwise, it really might distract from a recent pair of trademark food fights in Minneapolis, both involving chips claiming to be “hot” too. You may recall the “Red Hot” Chip Fight between Barrel O’Fun and Old Vienna discussed here, that was quickly bagged here.
So, here are the current contenders in the most recent “Blazin’ Hot” trademark food fight:
The most interesting aspect of the complaint, from a trademark strategy perspective, is the fact that Buffalo Wild Wings did not bring a claim for infringement of a federally-registered trademark (Section 32 of the Lanham Act). Instead, it only relies on Section 43 of the Lanham Act (designed to protect unregistered trademarks) and a pair of Minnesota state law causes of action, even though it refers to owning some federal trademark and service mark registrations for and containing the term BLAZIN’. Perhaps Buffalo Wild Wings is attempting to insulate them from attack or challenge by P&G, since none is five years old yet or incontestable. Stay tuned to learn whether P&G turns up the heat on this dispute and counterclaims for cancellation anyway.
Now, as to the “original and unique” point raised above, it is worth asking, who else appears to have a stake in “Blazin” hot trademarks for food products? Uh, let’s just say, more than a few . . . .