Calling the kettle black?

We’ve seen two breweries fighting over a moose. Now two companies making potato chips are fighting over the image of a kettle.
Martin’s Potato Chips Inc. has filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit in the US, in order to fight the, allegedly, unlawful use of its kettle logo.
The other ‘kettle user’ is Old Lyme Gourmet Co., a firm based in Conneticut, that makes Deep River Snacks.
Martin’s is asking the court to order Old Lyme to stop using a kettle logo to promote its products. Old Lyme is attempting to capitalize on Martin’s reputation in the potato snacks industry, so says Martin’s.
Granted, both companies use kettle logos. Not uncommon for a potato chips product. But are they confusingly similar?
Martin’s kettle is black, old-fashioned with feet, depicted in profile steam rising from its mouth. The Old Lyme logo features a kettle viewed from a different angle, into the mouth, framed by a white circle with a platter of partly-sliced potatoes in the lower right corner. Well? What do you think?
We think both parties should send us a few boxes of their products, preferably before the weekend, so we can do a…. comparison.

Erwin Hauër

“Hope is not a strategy.”

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