Tiger and Giraffe Nuts

Since 1993, Frito-Lay has been marketing TIJGERNOOTJES (TIGERNUTS); a peanut with a crispy shell. As result of the baking process, the outer dough layer is cracked. therefore, the nut has a varied pattern in the colours orange/brown and yellow. The baking process had been patented, but its protection has now expired. In order to protect the unique look and feel of the product, Frito-Lay has also trademarked the packaging and the nut itself. When the Aldi introduces a very similar looking product under the name GIRAF NOOTJES, a lawsuit follows.

The use of the name GIRAFNOOTJES is not deemed a trademark infringement. Conceptually, the trademarks are similar. A tiger and a giraffe are both wild exotic animals with spotted skins. However, the words TIGER and GIRAF differ sufficiently, both visually and phonetically. Also the packaging does not infringe. The situation is different for the nuts, they are identical. The registered trademarks for the nut is a position trademark and it is valid. As of 1 March 2019 new legislation came into force by which these trademarks are protected, but GIRAFNOOTJES cannot invoke this because the trademarks of Frito-Lay are older. As a result GIRAFNOOTJES in this colour are banned. (source image; Abcor)


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