The owner of a trademark on “Metchup” has filed an infringement suit alleging that H.J. Heinz Co.’s “Mayochup” is “confusingly similar” to his protected trademark. Perry v. H.J. Heinz Co. Brands, No. 19-0280 (E.D. La., filed January 14, 2019). The plaintiff has purportedly used the “Metchup” mark to sell his ketchup-mayonnaise and mustard-mayonnaise combinations since 2010, and he asserts that Kraft Heinz Co. has infringed on his trademark by using a mark that “bears a particularly strong phonetic similarity to Plaintiff’s mark. Depending on pronunciation and/or regional dialect, the marks are virtually indistinguishable from one another.” The complaint further cites Google search results for “metchup,” which direct searchers to the Heinz website, as evidence that consumers are confusing the two marks. The plaintiff seeks an injunction, destruction of infringing materials, damages and attorney’s fees for allegations of counterfeiting, trademark infringement, false designation of origin and violations of Louisiana’s business codes.

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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.