The Federal Circuit has reversed and remanded a Trademark Trial and
Appeal Board (TTAB) decision invalidating Snyder’s-Lance Inc.’s “Pretzel Crisp” trademark after Frito-Lay Inc. challenged the mark as generic.
Princeton Vanguard, LLC v. Frito-Lay N. Am., Inc., No. 14-1517 (Fed.
Cir., order entered May 15, 2015).

TTAB’s decision found that “Pretzel Crisp” is a compound term and
not a phrase, so it analyzed “pretzel” and “crisp” separately and found
both words to be generic descriptors of Snyder-Lance’s pretzel-cracker
product. The Federal Circuit disagreed with this method, holding that
TTAB had conducted a “short-cut analysis” by not considering “Pretzel
Crisp” as a whole phrase, because “the test for genericness is the same,
regardless of whether the mark is a compound term or a phrase.” At
the end of its decision, TTAB noted that “were we to analyze [‘Pretzel
Crisp’] as a phrase, on this record, our conclusion would be the same, as
the words strung together as a unified phrase also create a meaning that
we find to be understood by the relevant public as generic for ‘pretzel
crackers.’” The Federal Circuit further found that this short mention was
insufficient analysis and remanded the case for TTAB’s reconsideration.


Issue 566

About The Author


For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

1 Comment

  1. […] Frito-Lay N. Am.v. Princeton-Vanguard, LLC, No. 91195552 (TTAB, entered September 6, 2017). TTAB initially found “pretzel crisp” to be generic following Frito-Lay’s opposition to the […]

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