Pickrel, Schaeffer & Ebeling wins a trademark-infringement lawsuit

Pickrel, Schaeffer & Ebeling wins a trademark-infringement lawsuit filed this week by the owners of Dorothy Lane Market on behalf of its local company that makes “Killer Brownies.” The suit persuaded Food.com’s owner to back down 24 hours later.

“The Killer Brownie is an important and significant mark, not just locally, but nationally, and we will always defend our client’s effort and investment in creating the mark,” said attorney Michael Sandner of PS&E. “Nonetheless, we were pleased to be able to resolve our dispute and have Discovery Communications agree to remove any reference to what we viewed as infringing recipes for Killer Brownies.”

Dorothy Lane market adopted the Killer Brownie trademark in 1985 to identify its distinctive, high-quality brownies,” the lawsuit said. DLM registered the trademark in 1988, and it remains in full force and effect, the local grocery chain’s lawsuit said. In 2002, DLM established Killer Brownie Ltd. as a separate company.

But the Food.com website has published and displayed several brownie recipes with the word “Killer” in the title, including “Killer Brownies by Chapstick” and “Killer Triple Chip Brownies by Perfect Pixie,” and “Leslie’s Killer Brownies by Fairy Godmother.”

The use of such recipe titles “is likely to cause confusion or mistake or deception of purchasers as to the source or origin” of the website’s recipes and is likely to lead customers to “believe that they are dealing with” Dayton’s own Killer Brownie company, the lawsuit said.

AUTHOR: Pam Thomas

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