US: Fresh Del Monte wins injunction in trademark spat

By Michelle Russell | 2 April 2013

Fresh Del Monte has a perpetual royalty-free agreement with privately-held pantry staple maker Del Monte Foods

Fresh Del Monte has a perpetual royalty-free agreement with privately-held pantry staple maker Del Monte Foods

Fresh Del Monte Produce said it is "pleased" with a US court ruling that has served an injunction against Del Monte Foods in the two companies' dispute over the Del Monte trademark.

US District Judge Sidney Stein last week banned Del Monte Foods from using the Del Monte trademark on products containing five fruits intended to be chilled at the point of sale. 

Fresh Del Monte has a royalty-free agreement with Del Monte Foods to use the Del Monte name in certain product categories worldwide. The deal originated from the 1989 sale of the fresh fruit business, which was renamed Fresh Del Monte Produce. Although no longer affiliated with Del Monte Foods, Fresh Del Monte continues to market pineapples, bananas, and other produce under the Del Monte brand through the deal.

The dispute over the use of the trademark resulted a jury awarding Fresh Del Monte damages of US$13.2m last year. Last week, Judge Stein issued a permanent injunction against Del Monte Foods from using the Del Monte trademark on chilled products containing bananas, berries, melons, papayas and pineapples

The spokesperson told just-food it had taken the judge over a year to issue his order.

However, he added: "The injunction follows through on the jury's verdict [last year]. We thought the court's opinion was very well-reasoned and it reflected the jury's findings in that Del Monte Foods engaged in wilful and false advertising. We're pleased with the decision."

A spokesperson for Del Monte Foods it was pleased with the court’s ruling and that the company had already voluntarily taken all of the corrective measures asked by the court.

"Del Monte is glad that this matter is resolved and looks forward to continuing to provide consumers with the healthy and delicious products they expect from the company."

Sectors: Advertising & labelling, Chilled foods, Fresh produce

Companies: Del Monte Foods, Fresh Del Monte Produce

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