UK cereal maker Weetabix has said it is “reviewing” a court decision that saw it lose a battle to halt the launch of a new brand of porridge.
Weetabix launched a court case in the UK in an attempt to block a new product called Porridgebreak being launched over fears it would damage its business.
The objection surrounded an application to register the name Porridgebreak by UK firm Aimia Foods.
In its claim, Weetabix stated: “…the trade mark applied for consists of generic words which do not create a trade mark which is sufficiently distinctive for the purpose of securing a trade mark registration.
“The average consumer will merely perceive the mark Porridgebreak as referring to “porridge to eat during a break” and the trade mark applied for is, therefore, unable to fulfil its essential trade mark function: to indicate the origin of the goods.”
In a counterstatement, Aimia Foods said: “The fact that the words “porridge” and “break” taken as separate elements have a meaning in the English language is irrelevant because when they are combined together they have no meaning. The word “porridge has absolutely no relationship with the word “break” and the trade mark Porridgebreak is a fanciful combination of words.”
The UK Intellectual Property Office ruled in favour of porridge maker Aimia Foods.
In a written judgement, trademark hearing officer Ann Corbett said porridge was “traditionally a breakfast dish and said customers would not be familiar with the term Porridgebreak”.
The ruling noted: “Aimia has been successful and is entitled to an award of costs in its favour. I take into account that it filed no evidence itself, and the evidence filed by Weetabix was brief in the extreme.”