A dispute which pitted US food giant Kellogg against the somewhat smaller Green Turtle Bay Vitamin Company over the latter's trademark vitamin, Sunnie, has ended with a victory for the smaller company.
Sunnie is a supplement formula which Green Turtle Bay claims is designed to offer nutritional support for people dealing with stress and depression.
Kellogg had complained about the vitamin company's attempt to register the trademark for Sunnie, which was first made in October 1997, claiming that it "would be damaged by the registration". The cereal maker claimed that the picture of the sun used on the supplement's label would mislead people into thinking that it was made by Kellogg.
"It's a puzzle to me," said Karen Horbatt, president of The Green Turtle Bay Vitamin Co. "They claimed the picture of the sun we use on our packaging misleads people into thinking Sunnie is made by Kellogg. Kellogg Company doesn't even have a product named Sunny or Sunnie, however you spell it. How can they confuse a product such as Sunnie with a Kellogg product?"
Horbatt said that Kellogg had submitted drawings of three caricatures of the sun in a bid to show that there were different ways of presenting the image, presumably with the aim of forcing Green Turtle Bay Vitamins to change its design.
"There are clearly differences in portraitures of the sun, but Kellogg certainly do not have the rights to all variations of the sun's image," she said.
"We are happy that this opposition has come to a conclusion and we can now concentrate on our business of helping people live happy and healthy lives."