Seventies pop duo, Hall & Oates, known for such singles as 'Man Eater' and the Paul Young cover success, 'Everytime You Go Away', are suing the makers of a cereal Early Bird Foods & Co for use of a phonetically similar brand name, 'Haulin Oats', on a granola trail bar.
Whole Oats Enterprises, the holding company for the pop duo and registered proprietor, via assignment, of the Federal Trademark Registration for mark 'Haulin Oats' in connection with oatmeal and the provision of food delivery services, recently filed the lawsuit at the U.S. District Court in New York.
The lawsuit claims that that Early Bird Foods & Co had infringed Whole Oats Enterprises' trade mark on food related puns by using the mark 'Haulin Oats' on their granola bar and brought an action for trade and service mark infringement as well as unfair competition.
Whole Oats Enterprises claims that use of the 'Haulin Oats' mark was likely to cause confusion in the minds of customers as they may be led to believe that there was a commercial association between the pop duo and the granola trail bar provider where, in fact, no such relationship existed.
Whole Oats Enterprises has sought unspecified damages, an injunction preventing the use of the 'Haulin Oats' name on their brand of granola trail bars, the destruction of all materials bearing the brand name 'Haulin Oats' and an account of profits made from the infringing action.
In response to this, Early Bird Foods & Co replied, somewhat tongue in cheek: "Say it isn't so", referencing one of the songs by the pop duo.Posted by: in: Case Law, News, Trade Marks