Monday, June 30, 2008

On remand, Johnson & Johnson wins injunction against Heartland Sweeteners in Splenda® trade dress infringement lawsuit

Rebecca Tushnet’s 43(B)log writes about the latest development in the ongoing trade dress dispute between McNeil Nutritionals, LLC (“McNeil”), the Johnson & Johnson division that makes Splenda® artificial sweetener (a brand of the artificial sweetener, sucralose), and Heartland Sweeteners LLC (“Heartland”), which produces and distributes store-brand sucralose in a similar looking yellow packaging for big-chain supermarkets.

After the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed-in-part the district court’s prior decision in favor of Heartland (see prior blog post on the Third Circuit's decision here), the district court, on remand, conducted the necessary additional evaluation to determine if injunctive relief was appropriate for the packaging which the Third Circuit found the likelihood of confusion factors favored McNeil Nutritionals, specifically, packaging used by Heartland for sucralose sold at Royal Ahold NV’s Giant Supermarket. See McNeil Nutritionals, LLC v. Heartland Sweeteners LLC, Case No. 06-cv-05336 (E.D. Pa. June 26, 2008).
The court, upon remand and applying the remaining factors of the four factor test for issuing injunctive relief, determined that an injunction should issue with respect to approximately $340,000 of Heartland’s remaining inventory of the infringing box (Heartland notably redesigned its product packaging to be different than McNeil’s Splenda packaging).

1 comment:


Great summary ... This case might come up in the Apple/Samsung dispute.