Scoops or Bowlz? You can have your choice of either, now that a jury in the Eastern District of Texas has found that Medallion Foods Inc.’s Bowlz chips do not infringe on Frito-Lay North America’s Tostitos Scoops, though both are bowl-shaped, scalloped-edged tortilla chips.
Frito-Lay claimed that Medallion, which is owned by ConAgra Foods, infringed its patent on the process to make Scoops, and that it stole trade secrets after it hired a former Frito-Lay employee. The company also alleged that Medallion infringed its trade dress rights to the design of Scoops, as well as unregistered trade dress on the chip’s packaging.
To succeed on the trade dress claims, Frito-Lay would have had to show that consumers would be confused by the two similar products, and the jury was not convinced that such confusion existed. It ruled against Frito-Lay on all claims.
“Frito-Lay’s trade dress and patent rights remain valid,” Frito-Lay spokesman Chris Kuechenmeister said in a statement, adding that the company is looking at the possibility of a post-trial motion or appeal.
Read more at Thomson Reuters.
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