Dr Barry Sears Faces Trademark Litigation
Thursday, December 9 2004 at 17:15
Dr Barry Sears, together with his Hershey Foods Corp. partner for producing SmartZone nutritional bar, might become main characters in one of the grimmest intellectual property disputes in American history.
On August 2004, Hershey Foods Corporation and Dr Barry Sears won the right to produce & market SmartFood nutritional bar, in a “preliminary case” filed by Abbott Labs. But the Zone trademark trial could take years and it's just beginning.
The litigation came soon after Hershey Foods Corporation and Dr. Sears have broken the news on their partnership for introducing a nutrition bar with the nutritional benefits of Zone Diet , in February 2004, that was to be called SmartZone.
In a counter-sue, Hershey Foods accused ZonePerfect of false advertising.
Dr Sears had previously stated that he
did not and could not endorse the ZonePerfect products and did not believe that they complied with the Zone Diet.
ZonePerfect Nutrition Company, a subsidiary of Abbott Labs. based in Chicago, acquired ZonePerfect trademark on August 2003. Abbott's spokespersons claim they work on the base of a 2001 agreement between them and Dr. Sears that pledged himself not to use the Zone mark on any kind of food products.
ZonePerfect Nutrition Co. officials said that Dr Sears had spent years of work designing and approving the ZonePerfect nutrition bars, prior to selling to them the ZonePerfect trademark for $5 million in cash last year. They also said that at that time, Dr Sears agreed to use the Zone name exclusively in connection to his books.
Sears only stated that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is to clarify each side's rights, according to their previous “shared understanding”.
Original Zone Diet is now online - Start losing weight today!