In a complaint* filled on August 8 in Minnesota, General Mills accused RAWBITE ApS and its US distributor JB Legend LLC of trade-dress infringement under the Lanham Act, copyright infringement and unfair competition and deceptive trade practices under Minnesota state law.
According to General Mills – which acquired LÄRABAR in 2008 - the RAW•BITE wrappers “have the same look and feel as The LÄRABAR Trade Dress…” and are merchandised in caddies that “look strikingly similar to, and are likely to be mistaken for, the caddies in which LÄRABAR products are sold…”
RAW•BITE has also “copied the look and feel of General Mills’ social-media posts promoting the LÄRABAR products,” alleges General Mills, which says it has conducted consumer research that “confirms the existence of a likelihood of confusion between The Lärabar Trade Dress and Defendants’ RAW•BITE packaging…
“Defendants sell the RAW•BITE products in the same marketing channels as General Mills’ LÄRABAR products, including in grocery and convenience stores and over the Internet,” adds the lawsuit.
“The advertising and sale of Defendants’ RAW•BITE products are likely to cause confusion, mistake, and/or deception to customers and potential customers that Defendants’ RAW•BITE products originate from the maker of the LÄRABAR products, or that Defendants’ RAW•BITE products are affiliated with, sold with the permission of, or approved, sponsored, or licensed by the maker of the LÄRABAR products.”
RAWBITE/JBLegend did not respond to requests for comment.
*The case is GENERAL MILLS, INC. and GENERAL MILLS SPECIALTY PRODUCTS, LLC, Plaintiffs, v. RAWBITE ApS and JB L.E.G.E.N.D. LLC, 0:17-cv-03625 filed in Minnesota