In a trademark lawsuit filed Tuesday, Plymouth Beef Co., Inc. alleged that a competitor, Wonder Food Distributors, unlawfully used their registered trademark “Plymouth” and their package design, or trade dress. Plymouth Beef is represented by Foley & Lardner.
Plymouth Beef filed the lawsuit against the company itself, David Hamedan and Jack Hamedan, principal owners of Wonder, Nations Best Meat Wholesalers Inc., and its principal owners James Hyland and Guy Robinson.
Plymouth Beef said in the complaint it has used the name Plymouth or Plymouth Beef for fifty years and owns the trademark for the mark and the design under United States Registration Number 2,057,070. It has also used the red, white, and blue packaging they claim Wonder Food Distributors is using for the last twenty years.
The complaint alleged that when the packages are placed with only the side facing, as they typically are when viewed by consumers, the new design for Wonder Food looks extremely similar to the Plymouth Beef design. “As a result of its widespread, continuous, and exclusive use of the PLYMOUTH Trade Dress to identify its goods, Plymouth owns valid and subsisting rights to the PLYMOUTH Trade Dress since long prior to the acts of Defendants complained of herein,” the complaint claimed.
The complaint also alleged the defendants promoted their product under the name Plymouth, and it is used by retail customers to identify products in some cases. “Not only have retailers carrying the accused products displayed them under the name PLYMOUTH … but such retailers have also specifically invoiced the infringing product to customers under the name PLYMOUTH,” the complaint alleged.
The plaintiff claimed the defendants are causing confusion among consumers about the source of their beef, and are causing damage to Plymouth and their reputation. Plymouth Beef requested an injunction preventing the defendants from using the packaging and over $10 million in damages.