United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit
Intellectual Property – trademarks — injunctions
The sellers of Cracker Barrel Cheese products are entitled to an injunction preventing non-cheese products from being sold in grocery stores under the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store name.
“It’s not the fact that the parties’ trade names are so similar that is decisive, nor even the fact that the products are similar (low-cost packaged food items). It is those similarities coupled with the fact that, if CBOCS prevails in this suit, similar products with confusingly similar trade names will be sold through the same distribution channel—grocery stores, and often the same grocery stores—and advertised together. (In the brief period before the preliminary injunction was issued, in which CBOCS hams were sold in grocery stores, an online ad for Cracker Barrel Sliced Spiral Ham by a coupons firm provided a link to a coupon for Kraft’s Cracker Barrel cheeses.) The competing products would also be likely to appear in the same store circulars. Such similarities and overlap would increase the likelihood of consumer confusion detrimental to Kraft. See CAE, Inc. v. Clean Air Engineering, Inc., 267 F.3d 660, 682 (7th Cir. 2001); Ty, Inc. v. Jones Group, Inc., supra, 237 F.3d at 900–01.”
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Gettleman, J., Posner, J.