It looks like the current path is a bit uncertain for Nature’s Path Inc. and their attempted trademark acquisition.
Flowers Bakeries Brands LLC (FBB), owners of the registered trademark “Nature’s Own,” has filed a trademark opposition against Nature’s Path Foods Inc. Nature’s Path, whose business address is located in British Colombia, Canada, has a pending U.S. trademark application for the mark NATURE’S PATH ORGANIC (see U.S. Serial No. 87187620). The opposition papers were filed by FBB on Monday, August 3 (see TTAB Opp. No. 91264029).
FBB, a Delaware-based company who owns multiple registered U.S. trademarks for the mark NATURE’s OWN, believes that it will suffer harm if Nature’s Path is granted their applied-for trademark. They are claiming a likelihood of confusion and that Nature’s Path lacks a genuine bona fide intent to actually use the mark.
The NATURE’S PATH ORGANIC (NPO) mark is filed under a lot of international classes, specifically, classes 029, 030, 035, 036, 041, and 044. However, FBB’s initial opposition papers state that their issue of contention lies in the list of items in international class 030 of Nature’s Path’s application, which list the following:
Breakfast cereals, ready to eat, cereal-based ready to eat food bars, pancake mixes, toaster pastries, granola-based snack bars, oatmeal, hot oatmeal mixes, waffles, hot cereals, namely, oatmeal and processed cereals intended to be served hot, granola, bread, muesli, cookies, biscuits, popcorn, candy bark, namely, chocolate bark containing granola, milled flax seeds, all of the aforesaid made in significant part of organic ingredients
FBB describes itself in its opposition papers as “a leading producer and marketer of packaged bakery foods in the United States,” and specifically mentions an issue with the claiming of the term ‘bread’ (amongst other items in class 030) in the NPO application. FBB also states that it operates several bakeries that “produce[s] breads, buns, rolls, snack cakes, and pastries.”
This seems to be a very specific battle that FBB has decided to fight against Nature’s Path, as it is most assuredly not the only trademark that uses the word ‘Nature’ in association with bread or food products. There are plenty of marks that fall under international class 030 and specifically mention the term ‘bread,’ including:
- Nature’s Basket (see U.S. Serial Nos. 88282548, 88488172);
- Nature’s Cupboard (see U.S. Reg. No. 5921012);
- Nature’s Envy (see U.S. Serial No. 88805630);
- Nature’s Heart (see U.S. Serial No. 88651699)
- Nature’s Promise (see U.S. Reg. Nos. 3136604, 3091369, 3107939, 5687255).
Of course, this list is not exhaustive, and just mentions a few other trademarks that have ‘Nature’s’ as the first word in its trademark, and are also filed under international class 030 with the term ‘bread’ listed somewhere in the description. That list is sure to grow even more expansive if you were to search for marks that included “buns, rolls, snack cakes, and pastries” in their descriptor terms.
More details about the opposition, including papers filed regarding this opposition proceeding, can be found here.