Trademark Attorney Morris Turek

Morris E. Turek

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Ridiculous Trademark Opposition of the Week – NATURE’S IDEAL v. DELIA’S

trademark opposition

As I was browsing through the records of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board this afternoon, I came across a trademark opposition so ridiculous that I thought it was filed by mistake.  Let’s see if you agree.

On February 10, 2010, a company located in Atlanta called FB Goods filed a trademark application seeking registration of the mark DELIA’S for “sausages.”  According to the application, the DELIA’S trademark identifies Delia Champion, the restaurateur and chef who started the Georgia-based Flying Biscuit Cafe chain.  According to a recent article I located online, Ms. Champion and her business partner are planning to open a restaurant called “Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand,” which will primarily feature menu items consisting of chicken sausage, such as chicken sausage breakfast burritos and chicken sausage hoagie sandwiches with cheese and chili.  Needless to say, I have already finalized my travel plans to Atlanta and have scheduled an appointment with a cardiologist for when I return.  Of course, maybe it’s not that bad for you.  It is chicken after all!

All was looking good for FB Goods until a Switzerland corporation by the name of Molinos IP filed an opposition against the DELIA’S trademark application on January 7, 2011.  According to the notice of opposition, Molinos is the owner of a 2003 federal trademark registration for NATURE’S IDEAL for “edible oils and fats” and “meats in general.”  In the opposition, Molinos alleges that DELIA’S is “likely to cause confusion, mistake, or deception among consumers” because it is “visually and aurally very similar to” its NATURE’S IDEAL mark and will be used in connection with identical or closely related products.

Oh come on!  This opposition has about as much merit as a chicken sausage has pork.  First, there is absolutely nothing similar between DELIA’S and NATURE’S IDEAL in terms of appearance or sound.  I mean, you would really have to pick these two marks apart to find any significant resemblance.  In addition, the commercial impression of DELIA’S and NATURE’S IDEAL is completely different.  DELIA’S is obviously a woman’s name, while NATURE’S IDEAL is a suggestive phrase that connotes purity and freshness.  So, I really don’t have the foggiest idea what Molinos is talking about.

I also would like to note that a cursory search of the Trademark Office’s records revealed approximately 700 active registrations and pending applications for marks used in connection with food and beverage products that incorporate the word “nature,” as well as another 33 that include the word “ideal.”  Yet, Molinos decides to pursue an opposition against an application for DELIA’S while seemingly ignoring the hundreds of others that actually might be problematic.  So, Molinos’ NATURE’S IDEAL mark can coexist with BAKER’S IDEAL (Reg. No. 1359458), NATURE’S SELECT (Reg. No. 3111870), NATURE’S PREMIUM (Reg. No. 3555437), NATURE’S PLACE (Reg. No. 2204040), NATURE’S MEADOW (Reg. No. 3212365), and NATURE’S TOUCH (Reg. No. 3685774) but not with DELIA’S.  Seriously, I must be living in an alternate universe.

What do you think?  Am I delusional or is it Molinos?  Drop a comment and let me know what you think.  I’ll just be here chowing a few Johnsonville (not chicken) sausages while watching the NFL playoffs.

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One Response to Ridiculous Trademark Opposition of the Week – NATURE’S IDEAL v. DELIA’S

  1. Babs says:

    Once I finished laughing at your prose (so well written, I may add) I am not so sure I agree with you. Remember, I am a word junkie and puzzler extraordinaire. IDEAL and DELIA are the same letters rearranged. I don’t know if you’ve seen the email going around where the words in the sentence are either misspelled or simply missing letters, but you know what is being communicated. The point being, the brain readily compensates for the visual misrepresentation and you don’t even realize that your brain is correctly interpreting/processing what has been written.

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