Suits Filed by the Infringer- Part 2

Richard Rimer

February 6, 2023

Last week I posted a story about Post cereal filing a suit against an indie rock band over the name OK GO! The strange twist in that story was that the indie rock band had accused Post of infringement, but Post was the party that filed suit.

Today brings another story with a similar twist. Pure Prairie Poultry is suing Poultry Farms Dairy over a trademark battle. The twist is that the dairy company is the one who originally claimed that the poultry company was the infringer.

These suits are called declaratory judgment actions. In the brand protection world, they are usually filed by companies who have been threatened with a lawsuit over trademark infringement. The threatened party is in essence requesting a decision from the courts that their brand is not infringing.

Of course the main reason for a declaratory judgment is to provide peace of mind that the company can build on its brand. This is similar to a quiet title action in real estate. Also, this allows the threatened party to decide which court they want to use for the legal action. The downside is that these frequently turn into full infringement suits as the other party typically will countersue.

Again— another example of brand issues in the #foodandbeverage industry. Please note that these parties are both producers. Where are my #farmers?