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Kellogg Co. v. National Biscuit Co.

United States Supreme Court
305 U.S. 111 (1938)


Facts

National Biscuit Co. (National Biscuit) (plaintiff) sued Kellogg Co. (Kellogg) (defendant) over the manufacture and sale of the breakfast food known as shredded wheat. Shredded wheat was first introduced in 1893. In 1905, a request to trademark the term “Shredded Wheat” was denied. National Biscuit later acquired the rights to the business that stemmed from shredded wheat’s inventor. A patent was issued for the process of making shredded wheat. The patent expired in 1912. In 1922, Kellogg began manufacturing and marketing its own shredded wheat. Kellogg produced its product in the same pillow-shaped form as the inventor company. National Biscuit then sued. The circuit court ruled against Kellogg, enjoining Kellogg from using the name “shredded wheat.” Kellogg was also enjoined from advertising or selling its product in the same pillow shape used by National Biscuit. Kellogg filed a petition to the United States Supreme Court for certiorari to review the decision.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Brandeis, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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Dissent (McReynolds, J.)

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