Simply Orange Juice Company Claims Yogurt “Simply Free” Trademark Would Cause Harm

Simply Orange Juice Company (SOJC), which produces smoothies, fruit juices, and lemonades, filed an opposition to Simply Free Foods Inc.’s 2019 application for a trademark request on Friday with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. The applicant, Simply Free Foods, planned to use the trademark for its yogurts, but the opposer, SOJC, alleged in its notice that it would be damaged if the trademark for Simply Free were allowed for use in yogurts. 

The opposer claimed that its marks for Simply Orange, Simply Lemonade, Simply Limeade, Simply Drinks, Simply Almond, Simply in a stylized font, and other fruits drinks with the word “simply” were registered first. Its trademark for Simply Orange was approved in 2003, and the others followed as they added more products. The company said it has been working on development, marketing, and advertising for the line of Simply beverages since 2001. 

SOJC said that its Simply marks “have been extensively advertised throughout the United States, including use of the Simply and Simply Stylized marks on packaging, point-of-sale materials, print, broadcast, and digital advertising.” It said the mark has become recognizable and “famous” according to the Federal Trademark Act in distinguishing SOJC’s products. 

The notice stated “SOJC would be damaged by registration of Applicant’s Alleged Mark because such registration would constitute prima facie evidence of Applicant’s exclusive right to use Applicant’s Alleged Mark for and in connection with Applicant’s Goods, which would be inconsistent with and detrimental to SOJC’s prior, well-established and superior rights in the SIMPLY Marks.”

The company further alleged that the applicant’s mark, if it were approved, would be likely to cause confusion or mistakes because it resembles the marks of SOJC. It also said the mark would cause dilution of the Simply marks. 

SOJC, represented by Charlotte K. Murphy trademark counsel for the Coca-Cola Company, asked for the registration to be refused.