In a lawsuit that could set a bad precedent for the Trader Joe's store brand, Pepperidge Farm has sued the private label chain for trademark infringement, claiming that the TJ's crispy cookies are a knock off of the brand's famous Milano cookies.
While this might not seem like such a big deal — Trader Joe's could probably change the shape of their chocolate-filled sandwich cookie pretty easily — it could spell trouble down the line.
Because Trader Joe's has established food companies making private-label goods for most everything in their store, almost all of their items have a brand name counterpart. For the companies that make the private-label Trader Joe's products, trademark infringement isn't likely to come up. But where Trader Joe's uses a different manufacturer — say, for their crackers, granola bars, or breakfast cereals — they might run into trouble.
We'll have to keep an eye on this case to see just how far it goes.
→ Read more: Pepperidge Farm Sues Trader Joe’s for Knockoff Milanos from Grub Street