Posted on February 11, 2020 by Sustainable Food News

Organic snack brand sues rival over trademark

Has Unreal Brands already removed alleged infringing marks from product packaging?

Riverside Natural Foods Ltd. (RNF), a manufacturer and marketer of granola-based snacks under the Made Good brand, is suing a rival snack maker over the alleged infringement of its trademark.

Ontario, Canada-based RNF filed the lawsuit in New York Western District Court (Case #: 1:20-cv-00161) last week against Boston-based Unreal Brands, Inc.

RNF, which launched in Made Good products in 2014, said Unreal is illegally using its “Made Good” logo on its packages.

“The Made Good products have enjoyed tremendous and rapid commercial success,” the lawsuit states. “Sales continue to grow.”

RNF said sales of its Made Good products between 2015 and 2019 have exceeded $74 million in the United States.

RNF also said in the lawsuit that since 2016 it has spent more than $21 million on the marketing, advertising, and promotion of products sold under its trademarked Made Good brand.

RNF emphasized in the lawsuit that its products “are free of peanuts, tree nuts and other common allergens.”

“Since schools and other public places ban or discourage students from bringing food containing peanuts or tree nuts, the fact that the Made Good products are “safe for schools” has contributed greatly to the success of the Made Good products,” the company said in its complaint. “Since the consequences of an allergic reaction can be severe, even deadly, [RNF] takes great care to maintain the Made Good products’ reputation for providing foods that are free from common allergens.”

RNF said Unreal Brands “is engaged in sale of snack foods, including products similar to the Made Good products,” using the words Made Good on the packaging of its products, which do contain peanuts.

RNF said by doing so, Unreal’s alleged trademark infringement has “resulted in actual confusion, including customers contacting [RNF] to request clarification arising from the [Unreal’s] products sale in retail locations not serviced by [RNF].”

RNF said it sent Unreal a cease and desist letter last March, and received a reply from Unreal that it would cease use of the words Made Good on its packaging. But RNF said it had to send a second cease and desist letter in September because Unreal continues to sell snack products designated with the words Made Good.

However, products displayed on Unreal Brands website do not appear to have the Made Good words.

(On the right is Unreal’s product packaging with the Made Good words; on the left is product packaging, displayed on Unreal’s website, that omits the Made Good words)

RNF is seeking injunctive and monetary relief including an amount up to three times the amount of its actual damages.

Unreal has been issued a summons and has until the first week of March to reply.

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