Del Monte filed a trademark opposition before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board on Tuesday alleging that the request for a trademark for “Delnot” by Chen Lihua, a food production company, would harm its brand and cause consumer confusion.
The opposition affects goods and services the applicant listed for its DELNOT trademark, including breads, candies, chocolate, coffee products, fruit sauces, honey, rice, seasonings, ketchup, flour, and noodles. Del Monte claimed that it uses the mark throughout the industry and a similar trademark used for the sale of goods in these item areas could dilute and harm its branding.
Del Monte has over 25 “incontestable” food related trademarks approved and has used its DEL MONTE mark since 1891 for use with the production, marketing, and sale of food and beverage products. It is used throughout the United States, specifically to sell “sauces and condiments, tomatoes and tomato-based products, and a broad selection of fruit and vegetable products and beverages.”
The DELNOT application was filed on March 25. Lihua Chen is seeking to use the trademark and has reportedly used it on goods since July 7, 2019, and it is currently in use. However, Del Monte alleged that the application is void under the Lanham Act because its mark was not used in connection with the goods listed by the date the application was filed. This is reportedly based on the findings of an investigation done by Del Monte.
The opposer claimed that it has priority because of its prior trademark, and that the applicant’s trademark would cause confusion because of the similarity between Del Monte and Delnot. Del Monte’s trademarks are reportedly “widely recognized” and the company has invested time and resources to market items using its marks.
Del Monte, represented by Ballard Spahr LLP, asked the court to deny the application and sustain its opposition.