For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

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Thursday, 17 September 2009

A weighty trade mark issue for the US courts


The IPKat has learned from Reuters that Weight Watchers is suing Nestle for trade mark infringement in the District Court of Southern New York. Weight Watchers claims that Nestle has displayed trade marks relating to Weight Watchers and its points system on its Skinny Cow ice creams and Lean Cuisine ready meals. Weight Watchers fears that this may confuse consumers into thinking that it has endorsed Nestle's products. Nestle meanwhile runs its own weightloss programme, Jenny Craig Inc.

This looks to the IPKat like a rather unconventional interoperability case. Can you use someone else's trade mark to tell them that you food fits into their diet programme? Even if you can, should you do it in a way which doesn't cause confusion?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

WW went after Tesco (who themselves have an independent diet programme) some years ago for referring to WW & their "Points" trade mark. Both M&S and Tesco now still refer to WW on their low fat food packaging with a simple statement that the product is not WW endorsed so this will surely settle?

Amarjit Singh Kullar said...

I agree with the previous reader. The advertisement is just for marketing only. That does have little impact for profit. But if the quality is good, then the market will go up.

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