10 July 2017Trademarks

Chef Jamie Oliver sued for using gluten-free mark in recipes

Washington-based non-profit organisation Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) of North America has filed a complaint against Jamie Oliver Enterprises for trademark infringement, counterfeiting and unfair competition.

The case, filed on Friday, July 7, at the US District Court for the Western District of Washington, comes after Jamie Oliver, a British celebrity chef, included a mark with the letters ‘GF’ in some of his recipes which have been made available to public.

GIG offers support, educational services and research for gluten-related disorders, owning trademarks which are identical and substantially similar to the mark which Jamie Oliver has used.

GIG owns several trademarks for ‘GF’ signs which certify that a certain product is gluten-free. Its certification programme maintains “strict certification standards to verify the quality, purity and integrity of gluten-free products”.

The complaint said: “Defendants have not sought any form of gluten-free certification from any entity in the US or even the UK.”

It added that in pre-litigation between the parties, Oliver had the opportunity to show the right to use a GF mark but did not provide evidence.

GIG said: “Through use of a mark identical or substantially similar to the plaintiff’s gluten-free certification marks, defendants attempt to mislead the public into believing defendant’s food-related programmes and recipes have been certified by plaintiff as gluten-free when they have not.”

The suing organisation has asked the court for injunctive relief against Oliver, as well as an award of damages including the costs of corrective advertising.

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More on this story

28 September 2017   Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has become embroiled in another trademark dispute with Washington-based non-profit organisation Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) of North America.
13 February 2018   A gluten-free awareness group has dismissed a trademark infringement case against British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.