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November 03, 2011

Canned meat battle Spam vs Prem ends in a tie

Here's some from an article by the PB's legal eye Matt Russell about the resolution of Hormel Foods tussle with Netherlands-based Zwanenberg Food Group.

More of the article can be found here.


A trademark infringement case involving the iconic yellow and blue packaging of Spam food products has been dismissed in federal court.

PremA settlement between Austin-based Hormel Foods and Zwanenberg Food Group led to the dismissal of the suit by Judge David Doty Tuesday in U.S. District Court, with both parties agreeing to dismiss all claims and counterclaims.Spam_hormel_prem_Zwanenberg

Hormel filed the suit in March, alleging that Zwanenberg used packaging starting in 2010 on a competing product, Prem, that was "confusingly similar" to Spam.

While Zwanenberg altered the label design at Prem-12ozHormel's request, Hormel maintained that the new label still created confusion because it still used a yellow-on-blue color scheme. The products were sold in Japan and the Philippines, according to the complaint.

Zwanenberg responded that its packaging was unlikely to cause confusion with Hormel's packaging, adding that Spam's yellow lettering on a blue background "is generic and/or otherwise unprotectable as a matter of law."


I can easily see how the two would be confused. Generics usually use a yellow label to not confuse.

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