Nando’s Limited, a United Kingdom-based chicken restaurant, filed an opposition on Tuesday before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board against Tyson Foods Inc.’s request for a trademark for “Nano”. The company purported that since both goods are related to chicken, the similar mark could cause confusion among consumers.
The opposer cited that it opened its first restaurant under the name Nando’s in 1987 and has since expanded to become an international restaurant chain with over 1,100 restaurants. Nando’s reportedly opened its first restaurant in the United States in 2008. Nando’s cited eight trademarks that it owns for just the word Nando’s and 12 additional trademarks for sauces and other items with Nando’s in the name. The earliest trademark listed in the opposition was registered in 1999. Additionally, the opposer said that it owns over 400 trademarks globally.
The company claimed that its Nando’s trademarks are distinctive and that it has advertised and promoted the family of trademarks and invested in building its brand. Nando’s claimed that American consumers understand that goods and services with the name Nando’s are produced by the company.
Reportedly, Tyson filed for the Nano trademark on August 25, 2020, to be used with poultry, but it has not yet used the mark in commerce. Nando’s said that it understands that Tyson “intends to use the NANO Mark in connection with a chicken product that will be offered and sold through foodservice channels,” like delis and restaurants.
Because of the similarity in appearance and sound, Nando’s purported that consumers would be likely to believe that products with a Nano trademark belonged to the opposer, especially since both companies offer products with chicken. It said that the likelihood that consumers would assume the products are produced by the same company is “extremely high.”
Nando’s, represented by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, asked the Board to oppose Tyson’s request for the Nano trademark to prevent consumer confusion and protect its family of trademarks.