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6 June 2014Trademarks

Author claims Chobani’s Super Bowl ad infringed his ‘HOW’ trademark

Best-selling author Dov Seidman has filed a trademark infringement suit against Greek yoghurt company Chobani.

The claim, filed at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges that the company infringed his ‘HOW’ trademark in its recent marketing campaign during the Super Bowl.

Adverts using the word ‘HOW’ trademark were broadcast during other events such as the Academy Awards and the Winter Olympics. The word was also used in promotional material distributed on social media sites.

Seidman, author of the self-help book HOW: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything, published in 2007, applied for the trademark as well as other marks on the variation of ‘HOW’, including ‘HOW IS THE ANSWER’ and ‘THE HOW REPORT’.

Shortly before the airing of the Super Bowl adverts, Droga5, an ad agency contracted by Chobani to conduct the marketing campaign, tweeted Seidman thanking him for helping the “world to care about how” and later asking “can you help the food industry, too?”.

Seidman had apparently requested numerous meetings with both Droga5 and Chobani about the use of the trademark, but neither responded to the requests.

The author is claiming unspecified damages.

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8 October 2014   An author and a yoghurt maker battling over the use of the word ‘how’ as a trademark are set to go to court next month.