CNBC reports that "Trader Joe's is asking a federal appeals court to reverse a judge's scathing dismissal of the grocery store chain company's lawsuit that alleged trademark infringement by an employee labor union in selling merchandise on its website.
"The appeal, filed Thursday, comes nearly a month after the judge accused Trader Joe's of trying to 'weaponize the legal system to gain an advantage in an ongoing labor dispute' against the Trader Joe's United union."
The original decision was in response to a Trader Joe's lawsuit saying that Trader Joe's United had "infringed on the company's trademarks in producing 'union merchandise such as buttons, mugs, t-shirts, and tote bags sold on the Union's website' … The suit was filed six days after the National Labor Relations Board issued a consolidated complaint against Trader Joe's that alleged unfair labor practices, which included retaliating against workers, threats and other acts, the judge noted."
The ruling by the judge said that "the logos used by the Union are in a different font, do not utilize the distinctive fruit basket design, apply concentric rings of different proportions, and are applied to products that no reasonable consumer could confuse as coming from Trader Joe's itself." But Trader Joe's maintains that "this is a purely commercial dispute and that the Union's designs are causing consumer confusion and diluting the Trader Joe's family of trademarks."
- KC's View:
I was curious, so I did a quick check online. The top one is the Trader Joe's logo, followed by the union logo. You decide.
Seems to me that Trader Joe's is pushing its luck here. I think it is pretty easy to tell the difference.
But we'll see how the next judge rules. And, probably, if this appeal fails, another judge. And another one after that.
Keep in mind that Trader Joe's recently argued that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), created during the New Deal, is 'unconstitutional' despite the fact that it has been ruling on private sector collective bargaining disputes for decades.
Wouldn't it be easier to just bargain and resolve this thing?