Findlaw reports that cereal maker Kellogg Co. is suing to prevent competitor General Mills Inc., which for nearly 20 years has made "Cinnamon Toast Crunch" cereal, from registering the phrase "Cinnamon Toast Crunch" as a trade mark for use with a cereal-based food bar. In a federal lawsuit, Kellogg says it has long used "cinnamon toast", or a similar descriptive phrase, in connection with the same categories of food products as General Mills, including cereals and waffles.
Kellogg could be damaged if General Mills is granted the trade mark, the suit claims. Kellogg seeks a rejection of the trade mark application as well as unspecified damages from its competitor.
Minneapolis-based General Mills, which first applied for the trade mark in 2000, declined to comment on the lawsuit. But spokeswoman Marybeth Thorsgaard noted that a ruling earlier this year by a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office appeal board rejected Kellogg's claims, saying the company
"had not produced evidence showing that it had a commercial interest in the term 'cinnamon toast'".The IPKat, left to his own imagination, would have assumed that 'cinnamon toast crunch' was a pretty descriptive sort of term for anything that tasted of cinnamon, had the texture of toast and crunched when you bit it. Also, it's a pretty deceptive term for anything that isn't. His feline friend Merpel reminds him that the breakfast cereal industry is famed for its devotion to descriptive terms, cornflakes being a good example of a trade mark that bit the dust for becoming generic.
Cinnamon toast crunch cocktail here
Cinnamon crunch French toast here
Scientific basis of toast crumb adhesion here