NEW YORK Dec 31 ConAgra Foods Inc (CAG.N) has
sued Dean Foods Co (DF.N), saying the dairy processor's Swiss
Premium teas infringe its trademark for Swiss Miss hot cocoa
In a Dec. 24 lawsuit filed in the Omaha, Nebraska, federal
court, ConAgra said Dean's use on labels of the word "Swiss," a
snowy white-and-blue mountain scene, and a particular font are
likely to confuse shoppers into believing the teas are endorsed
Such confusion "is heightened by the similarity in sight
and sound of the parties' respective trademarks as well as the
fact that the respective products are both marketed in the
beverage category," ConAgra said.
The Omaha-based company said it has sold Swiss Miss
products since 1990, with sales topping $150 million annually.
Marguerite Copel, a spokeswoman for Dallas-based Dean, did
not immediately return a call seeking comment.
ConAgra is seeking to block Dean from using the Swiss
Premium label, as well as triple damages and other remedies.
Other ConAgra products include Banquet and Healthy Choice
dinners and Orville Redenbacher popcorn.
The case is ConAgra Foods RDM Inc. v. Dean Foods Co, U.S.
District Court, District of Nebraska, No. 09-00465.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel, editing by Dave Zimmerman)