Friday, February 25, 2005

8th Circuit Food Fight over LOUIS KEMP Mark

The 8th Circuit recently presided over a food fight over the trademark LOUIS KEMP. In Kemp v. Bumble Bee Seafoods, Inc., No. 02-3797 (Feb. 23, 2005), the recipe for the dispute was as follows:

  • 1 man (Louis Kemp) who has sold the rights to use his name as a trademark on seafood
  • 1 company to buy the mark
  • 1 contract memorializing the deal
  • millions of $$ spent by the company making the man's name famous
  • 1 ton of second thoughts by the man upon seeing how famous the company made his name

Let's Cook:

Take the LOUIS KEMP mark, mix in the millions of advertising $$, and allow it to rise. In a separate pan, allow Louis Kemp the man to stew in his own juices with the second thoughts and the contract. Add in a plan to use his name for DIFFERENT food items than the ones specifically listed in the contract wherein he sold his rights. Stir and heat in a federal district court at 400 degrees until the dispute comes to a boil and begins smoking. Garnish the trial court's decision with parsley. Serves 3 appellate judges.

The law the 8th Circuit discussed was pretty straightforward, primarily involving an assessment of the likelihood of confusion factors.

To access the decision, go to the 8th Circuit's opinion search page, click on Opinions by Month/Year, select February 2005, and scroll until you come to it.

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