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August Storck K.G. v. Nabisco, Inc.

59 F.3d 616 (7th Cir. 1995)

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August Storck K.G. v. Nabisco, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

59 F.3d 616 (7th Cir. 1995)

Facts

August Storck K.G. (Storck) (plaintiff) made a popular butter toffee called “Werther’s Original” candies. Nabisco, Inc. (Nabisco) (defendant) was an international food manufacturer and distributor whose brands included Life Savers, a popular American candy. Nabisco developed a line of butter toffees to compete with Werther’s Original candies called “Life Savers Delites.” The packaging of Life Savers Delites was printed with the advertisement: “25% LOWER IN CALORIES THAN WERTHER’S (R) ORIGINAL* CANDIES.” The asterisk directed customers to a disclaimer that said: “WERTHER’S (R) ORIGINAL is a registered trademark of and is made by August Storck K.G. Storck does not make or license Life Savers Delites TM.” Before Nabisco launched this line of butter toffees, Storck sued Nabisco for trademark infringement under the Lanham Act. Storck sought a preliminary injunction to stop Nabisco from using the comparative statement about Werther’s Originals on Nabisco’s packaging. The district court saw the packaging for Life Savers Delites, but the court did not hold an evidentiary hearing on the question of whether the packaging was likely to cause confusion among consumers. The district court granted the preliminary injunction. Nabsico appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Easterbrook, J.)

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