Del Monte Files Opposition to Spanish Winemaker’s Proposed Trademark

Del Monte Foods, Inc. opposed a trademark put forward by applicant El Coto de Rioja, S.A. (El Coto) on Wednesday. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) filing claims that El Coto’s proposed mark, “BL Camino Del Monte,” shown below, will likely confuse consumers about its source and cause dilution of the opposer’s “famous” Del Monte marks.

Del Monte explained that since 1891, it and its predecessors “have used the Del Monte trademark in connection with the production, marketing, and sale of premium quality food and beverages throughout the United States.” Del Monte reportedly offers a broad selection of fruit and vegetable products and beverages, a host of sauces and condiments, and tomatoes and tomato-based products for sale online and in brick and mortar grocery stores. The company states that it owns more than 25 “incontestable” trademarks incorporating its Del Monte house mark.

El Coto allegedly filed its application for registration of the “BL Camino Del Monte” mark, to be used in connection with wine, on Nov. 12, 2019. Del Monte contends that there are several reasons why the applicant’s mark should be refused. First, it claims that El Coto’s goods are to be marketed through overlapping channels of commerce and sold to overlapping classes of purchasers. It next claims that the proposed mark “so resembles” Del Monte’s own, that it is “likely to cause confusion, mistake, or deception.” Finally, it is also reportedly similar in sound and commercial impression, adding to the likelihood of confusion.

If the applicant is permitted to register the mark, Del Monte cautions, it will suffer damages and injury. Therefore, Del Monte asked the TTAB to sustain its objection and refuse the registration of El Coto’s mark.

Del Monte is represented by Ballard Spahr LLP.