Owner of “Nature’s Own” Opposes “Nature’s Path Organic” Trademark

Flowers Bakeries Brands LLC, producers of Nature’s Own bakery items sold in most of the United States, is attempting to stop Nature’s Path Foods, Inc. from receiving an international trademark on a logo that says “Nature’s Path Organic.” The opposer claims registration of the trademark would damage the Nature’s Own brand and cause confusion. The opposition was filed on Monday before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

The applicant for the trademark is a Canadian company represented by Thomas M. Galgano, The mark is requested for use on bread, which is the primary use of the opposer’s mark. Nature’s Path Foods filed an application for the trademark on September 29, 2016. Because of the close relationship between the products, the opposer claims the requested trademark is too similar.

Flowers Bakeries Brands LLC is a subsidiary of Flowers Foods, Inc, a “leading producer and marketer of packaged bakery foods in the United States,” which produces breads and pastries in nearly 50 bakeries, which are sold in most areas of the United States. The company has used the Nature’s Own trademark since at least 1976.

The company has three registered trademarks with its “Nature’s Own” wording. “The NATURE’S OWN mark has served as an inherently distinctive indicator of the origin of goods produced and sold under Opposer’s authority,” the opposition notice stated. It claimed the company has spent “considerable sums of money” developing brand recognition for its bread products with this mark, which has obtained “a high degree of recognition, fame, and distinctiveness as a symbol of the quality of goods offered.”

The opposer alleged that there is enough similarity between the two marks to “be likely to cause consumer confusion, mistake, and deception,” and that those familiar with Nature’s Own trademark could believe Nature’s Path Foods products are sold by the same company if the trademark is registered.

Flowers Bakeries Brands, represented by Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, says the registration of the international trademark should be refused.