Dole Packaged Foods has filed suit against Kelly Carter and Jason Lauderdale of Hula Girls Shave Ice in the Central District of California. The plaintiff is alleging trademark infringement of the Dole brand to advance Hula Girls business without Dole’s consent, as well as Hula Girls misguiding its customers to the relationship of the two entities.
Dole is a food distributor of fruits that does business across state lines as well as internationally, the complaint said; the defendant, Hula Girls Shave Ice is a small business that sells frozen desserts and other similar products.
The plaintiff is arguing that they had contacted Hula Girls on multiple occasions on trying to reach an agreement on using their logos and this brand recognition of “Dole” and “Dole Whip.”
The complaint states that “the Dole and Dole Whip Marks are well-known and famous trademarks widely recognized by the general consuming public of the United States as a designation of source of Dole’s goods and deserving of a broad scope of legal protection prior to Hula Girls unlawful use.”
The plaintiff also argues that the defendant had been uncooperative in trying to find a solution to the use of the Dole brand name and products.
Some of the alleged ways in which the defendant had used the Dole Brand include placing it on their storefront sign, on their menu items, as well on their social media accounts, and on their own business website.
The defendant is facing six different claims, including federal trademark infringement, federal unfair competition and false designation of origin, federal trademark dilution, common law trade infringement and unfair competition, violation of California’s business & professions code, and California statutory trademark dilution.
The plaintiff is being represented by Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.