Without disclosing any settlement details, Hormel Foods Corp. and a Netherlands-based company have secured a court order dismissing trademark infringement claims involving the labels for canned meat products SPAM® and Prem®. Hormel Foods, LLC v. Zwanenberg Food Group (USA), Inc., No. 11-00774 (D. Minn., order entered November 1, 2011). Additional information about the case appears in Issue 388 of this Update. Hormel brought the action, contending that the defendant had violated the Lanham Act by selling Prem canned meat with a copycat label using Hormel’s distinctive label colors. According to a news source, Prem filed a counterclaim, alleging that the two color label is not distinctive or protectable and that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office improperly registered the trademark in May 2011. See Law360, November 1, 2011.

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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.