Heinz Opposes Trademark Request from Foster Farms for Frozen Pizza

On Monday, H.J. Heinz US Brands LLC filed an opposition to Foster Poultry Farms’ application for a trademark for SMART CRUST before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. The opposer claimed that this is similar to its trademarks used to market its SMART ONES line of foods. 

Heinz claimed in its opposition that approval of the trademark would cause dilution through blurring and tarnishment and would be likely to confuse consumers. The company cited its trademark registrations for SMART ONES from as early as 1994 for use with pizza, frozen entrees, frozen breakfast sandwiches, desserts, and other food products. 

Foster Farms filed its request for the SMART CRUST trademark on January 9, 2020. Reportedly, the company plans to use the mark in connection with frozen pizza and filed the request for registration of the trademark “on an intent-to use basis.” Heinz, however, claimed that it has used the phrase Smart Ones through its predecessors continually since as early as 1992 in commerce. 

The filing stated, “Opposer and its predecessors have continuously and extensively advertised, promoted, and used Opposer’s Marks and have made substantial sales of products under the marks since 1992.” Heinz claimed that it has developed goodwill and consumer recognition through its efforts to promote its Smart Ones products and it has become widely recognized. 

Heinz explained that the pizza with the SMART CRUST trademark would be sold to the same consumers and through the same channels of trade as its frozen goods sold under the SMART ONES mark. Further, Heinz purported that the marks are “substantially similar” in appearance, sound, and impression. 

Heinz, represented by its own attorney, asked the board to reject Foster Farms’ application for the trademark to prevent confusion and protect its efforts to promote the company’s Smart Ones frozen food line.