In Texas, businesses and innovators spend a great deal of time and money trying to create a product or brand that will be recognizable, trusted and help them to enhance their profits. When they have a known entity and another company or individual tries to use it against the original owner’s wishes, it can be a violation of their intellectual property and warrant a lawsuit. Whether it is a large, medium-sized or small business, being aware of the law is imperative to avoid confusion and illegal behavior that can have a negative impact.
Supermarket chain files lawsuit against drink mixer maker
The supermarket chain H-E-B asserts that Swoon Brands LLC has committed several intellectual property violations with its label. These included trademark infringement, unjust enrichment, unfair competition and more. The chain says that the label – called SWOON – was its own creation at its ice cream plant and was launched in 2017.
It claims to have taken years to create it and the drink maker piggybacked off its work. H-E-B had a social media campaign and accrued almost 100 million social media hits. It says customers associate SWOON with H-E-B. It has federally registered the trademark.
Swoon Brands LLC is accused of launching its company in 2013 under the name Be Mixed LLC. It makes various drinks and snacks. In 2018, it became Swoon. It filed a trademark in 2018, nearly two years after H-E-B did so. The sides attempted to negotiate a compromise to the dispute. They are ongoing. However, Swoon is accused of expanding into retailers into the state sparking H-E-B’s legal filing. H-E-B had even carried the products in its stores until recently, but stopped once the name change became known.
Legal assistance can help in protecting intellectual property
Anyone who is providing a product, service or trying to innovate should be constantly aware of maintaining their intellectual property rights. With a trademark or copyright, the legal owner can derive value from their work and ensure that others do not take it without permission or just compensation.
If there is infringement of any kind, it may be necessary to file a legal claim to put a stop to it. When facing this issue, it is wise to have legal assistance from the start. Calling a law firm experienced in business matters may help.