2 September 2021TrademarksAlex Baldwin

Snyder’s-Lance drops ‘Pretzel Crisps’ dispute with Frito-Lay

Snyder’s-Lance has moved to voluntarily dismiss its decade-long ‘Pretzel Crisps’ trademark dispute with Frito-Lay.

In an order filed yesterday August 31, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has dismissed the case.

This follows just two months after Snyder’s-Lance appealed to the fourth circuit to overturn a dismissal of its motion for summary judgment from the US District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.

Snyder’s had also appealed to the circuit to overturn a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) order cancelling the registration of the mark ‘Pretzel Crisps’ by one of Snyder’s wholly-owned subsidiaries Princeton Vanguard.

District court ruling

In June, Frito-Lay managed to convince the North Carolina court judge that the mark was generic, affirming the prior TTAB decision to cancel the Princeton Vanguard application.

The district court agreed that the combination of the generic terms “Pretzel” and “Crisps” did not bring additional meaning in the minds of consumers.

Both parties originally moved for a summary judgment of the issue, but the court denied due to both parties having waived their right to present at trial.

Case history

The dispute originated when Princeton Vanguard filed an application for the trademark in 2004, but was denied registration on the grounds that the mark was “merely descriptive”.

After amending the application, Princeton filed to protect the mark again in 2009. This application was noticed by Frito-Lay, which filed an opposition to the application, claiming that the “Pretzel Crisps” mark was generic.

The TTAB’s decision to deny the mark was taken to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in 2017, which backed the TTAB’s dismissal of the trademark.

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More on this story

8 June 2021   Snack maker Frito-Lay has convinced a district court judge that a Snyder’s-Lance application for the “Pretzels Crisps” trademark is generic, affirming a prior trademark trial and appeal board decision.