On August 4, Wonder Food Distributors answered a trademark infringement complaint filed against it alleging that Wonder Food violated federal, state, and common law trademark laws by committing “unfair competition and false designation” among other allegations, of the plaintiff’s federally-registered trademark. Plymouth Beef Co., Inc. originally brought suit in the Southern District of New York in May.
The plaintiffs asserted in the complaint that the defendants violated a slew of trademark laws by infringing “of United States Registration Number 2,057,070 for the mark PLYMOUTH BEEF CO. and Design as follows, for “meat,” claiming using since at least as early as 1963.” Additionally, due to Plymouth’s “widespread, continuous, and exclusive use of the name PLYMOUTH to identify its goods and Plymouth as their source, Plymouth owns valid and subsisting rights to the PLYMOUTH trademark, alone and in combination with other elements, since long prior to the acts of Defendants.”
Jack Hamedan and David Hamedan were also named as defendants as they are the principal owners of Wonder Food, along with Nations Best Meat Wholesales, Inc. and its principal owners James Hyland and Guy Robinson. Wonder Food denied all allegations and asserted knowledge proffered by Plymouth. The defendant went on to request a jury trial, and asserted several affirmative defenses. First, the defendants assert the complaint should be dismissed, because Plymouth failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to FRCP 12(b)(6) and that Plymouth also failed to properly serve the summons and complaint in a manner required by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or New York law. Furthermore, the defendant directly stated they collectively did not infringe on any of the plaintiff’s trademarks and service marks, and that plaintiff has “no protectable Trademarks and service marks in its product or in the configuration of its product.” Wonder Food went on to assert that the plaintiff’s claimed trademarks and service marks “are invalid because the designs were in public use for more than one year before filing of plaintiffs’ trademarks and service applications.”
Allegedly, and without Plymouth’s authorization, the defendants produced, distributed, advertised, promoted, and offered sale of their ground beef and burger patties in a trade dress that closely relates to Plymouth’s package design and used the name PLYMOUTH. Plaintiff’s argued this caused confusion for consumers and the defendants increased confusion by “copying of the PLYMOUTH Trade Dress is the fact that the products are placed on sale with only the side facing out to the consumer.” The complaint contained images from stores to support these allegations.
Nations Best Meats Wholesalers, Inc., James Hyland, and Guy Robinson’s answers are due August 14. The initial pretrial conference is set for October 1.
Plymouth is represented by Foley & Lardner, and Wonder Food is represented by Law Offices of Morris Fateha.