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  • Debra Topham

“Local” — “Naturally” the next big fight?

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, “Ad Law Access” bring us an article “Local” Means Something, but What?

According to BakingBusiness, “A jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division, on Oct. 6 awarded Bimbo Bakeries USA $2,105,256 after determining the company suffered damages from trade secret misappropriation and false advertising.”

The lawsuit dates back to August 2013 — US Bakery’s Grandma Emilie’s bread was too similar to Bimbo Bakeries USA’s [BBU] Grandma Sycamore’s bread. US Bakery had acquired the Grandma Emilie’s brand as part of its acquisition of certain assets of Hostess Brands, Inc.” BBU filed suit for trademark infringement, trade secrets misappropriation, false designation of origin, and false advertising.

Although the $2.1M award covers many areas, the suit alleged “the US Bakery’s “Fresh. Local. Quality.” tagline was false in Utah because U.S. Bakery neither maintained a baking facility in Utah nor contracted with a Utah facility to manufacture its products.” [Baking Business]

“The jury attributed over $8 million in profits to the false advertising and awarded over $2 million in total damages (including the trade secret claims). Because the Special Verdict form simply asked for “Yes” or “No” responses, we don’t have any insights into the analysis or a clear answer as to what “local” means.” [Ad Law Access]

In other words, “Local” joins “Natural” and other ill defined words, fully exposed for to private lawsuits.

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