Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Monday, June 10, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Ketchup Maker Concedes to Heinz on Bottle Design

DALLAS (CN) - H.J. Heinz has emerged victorious in a dispute with a Texas ketchup maker over the use of its widely recognizable glass ketchup bottle.

Pittsburgh-based Heinz had sued Figueroa Brothers Inc., of Irving, Texas, for trademark infringement just last month.

Figueroa agreed to settle the lawsuit Thursday.

Though the company has admitted no wrongdoing, it will stop the use of the bottle design, according to an agreed motion for entry of final judgment. A permanent injunction against use of the design will take effect on Dec. 15.

Figueroa makes and sells a line of Melinda's All Natural ketchups that feature spicy peppers, including habanero, jalapeno, chipotle, and the ghost pepper Naga Jolokia, according to its website.

Heinz said that its "long use and promotion" of the "famous" marks results in it holding "valuable" common law rights over them.

It argued the bottle design is "inherently distinctive," dating back to the 1890s.

"As a result of Heinz' long use and promotion of the Heinz bottle marks, the marks have become distinctive to designate Heinz, to distinguish Heinz and its products from those of others, and to distinguish the source or origins of Heinz' products," the final judgment states. "As a result of these efforts by Heinz, the consuming public in Texas and throughout the United States widely recognizes and associates the Heinz bottle marks with Heinz."

Follow @davejourno
Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.

Loading...