A New York bakery and its shareholder have filed a trademark infringement
action against the Food Network, claiming that its proposed “Tough Cookies”
show would confuse consumers. One Tough Cookie, Inc. v. Scripps Networks
Interactive, Inc., No. 11-03675 (S.D.N.Y., filed May 31, 2011). According to the complaint, the Food Network has adopted “Tough Cookies” as the name of a “reality” TV series that will air in July 2011. It is apparently based on a “specialty bakery in New Jersey” called Crazy Susan’s Cookie Co. The plaintiffs allege that they are nationally known for “concentrating in ‘edible art’ in the form of cakes, cookies, and other pastries and baked goods” and registered their One Tough Cookie® mark in 2006.

The plaintiffs also allege, “Each time the ‘Tough Cookies’ television show airs,
plaintiffs’ website and web server will be compromised due to television fans
attempting to find the ‘Tough Cookies’ television show website. Viewers will
click on plaintiffs’ page or blog, but will quickly divert from the page upon
learning that it does not belong to the television series. These quick visits will
cause plaintiffs’ website and blog to lose priority in website searches.” Alleging federal trademark infringement and dilution, false designation of origin, violation of state trademark dilution and deceptive acts and practices laws, common-law trademark infringement and unfair competition, and reverse confusion, the plaintiffs seek injunctive relief, damages, disgorgement, treble damages, punitive damages, attorney’s fees, and costs.

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.