Kellogg Co. did not, as a matter of law, acquiesce to Exxon Corp.’s use of a cartoon tiger mark in connection with the sale of non-petroleum products, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held April 6, reversing a summary judgment for the oil company (Kellogg Co. v. Exxon Corp., 6th Cir., Nos. 98-6237, 98-6360, 4/6/00).

Kellogg and Exxon both use cartoon tiger trademarks to promote their products. Kellogg began using its “Tony the Tiger” mark in 1952 and registered the mark in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a “cereal-derived food product to be used as a breakfast food, snack food, or ingredient for making food.” Exxon started using its “whimsical” tiger in 1959 to promote motor fuel products. It registered this mark with the PTO in 1965 and used it heavily in an advertising campaign that ran from 1964 to 1968.