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August 18, 2020

BetterBody Foods and Nutrition in trademark dispute with Sweden’s Oatly

BetterBody Foods and Nutrition, a US-based natural ingredients food business, is embroiled in a trademark dispute with a European oat drinks manufacturer.

By Dean Best

BetterBody Foods and Nutrition, a US-based natural ingredients food business, has filed a counter legal complaint against Sweden’s Oatly over a trademark dispute.

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  • Major trends in the market including rapid delivery, ambient retailing, supply chain disruption, and inflation
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In a statement yesterday (17 August), Utah-headquartered BetterBody Foods said it received the first of a series of “cease and desist” letters from Oatly in September via the Utah branch of the United States District Court over the use of the ‘Oatsome’ trademark.

Oatsome is the brand name of organic oat milk and oat drinks made by BetterBody Foods which are non-GMO, gluten-free and both vegan and kosher-certified. But as the company was about to launch the product in the US last year, it said the firm received a letter from Oatly’s legal counsel “asserting” that that business owned the ‘Totally Oatsome’ trademark.

And Oatly has also “challenged” BetterBody Foods’ rights to use the Oatsome wording on its products in the European Union and China.

However, BetterBody Foods said in the statement that its own pre-launch research had not thrown up any conflicts of interest over the use of Oatsome, which it then went on to successfully register with the US Patent and Trademark Office, and also registered the name’s use in the UK, China, Australia and Singapore. 

BetterBody Foods said it then filed a complaint in July with the court in Utah against Oatly using the Totally Oatsome trademark.

“Given that no use of ‘Oatsome’ by Oatly had turned up during BetterBody Foods’ search of the Oatsome mark prior to adopting it, BetterBody Foods was surprised at Oatly AB’s claim to own the trademark Totally Oatsome,” it said.

BetterBody Foods “is seeking damages and a judgement that the alleged trademark infringement is wilful and constitutes unfair competition”, the company said.

The business was founded in 2007 by Stephen Richards. It also owns the PBfit peanut butter brand and the Plant Junkie range of spreads sold into major retailers.

Oatly, which has a range of products including Oatgurt and Oatmilk, said it would not comment on the matter when contacted by just-food. In July, Oatly sold a minority stake for US$200m in a funding round led by US private-equity firm Blackstone Group. It entered the North American market in 2016.

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Free Report
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What’s the forecast for the food and grocery industry?

The food and grocery sector thrived during the pandemic, largely due to the shutdown of the food service industry and the sector’s subsequent necessity, panic-induced bulk purchasing, and spending more time at home. The market has grown as a result of inflation. Consumer unwillingness to go out and socialize, and the reopening of several hospitality facilities, helped maintain the demand for groceries, particularly online, in 2021. As consumer behavior changes, we consume more food and drink at home, and inflation increases basket sizes. GlobalData predicts that the sector will continue to hold a higher share than had been predicted prior to the pandemic. This is true despite the fact that the food and grocery sector's share of overall retail will decline from its peak in 2020. This report will discuss market forecasts and key themes in the global food & grocery industry in 2022 and beyond. It covers:
  • Market drivers and inhibitors
  • Five-year forecasts and the impact of COVID-19
  • The performance of the online channel versus offline
  • Major trends in the market including rapid delivery, ambient retailing, supply chain disruption, and inflation
Assess developments within this sector to help your business thrive in 2022 and beyond.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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