Many people in New Jersey may be well aware that companies work hard to protect their trademarks as these intellectual property holdings can be important assets to a business or an organization. What may not be as well known is the vast range of things for which trademarks are held and therefore guarded. A case that was recently settled between two nonprofit event organizers in two different states shows a bit about this.
As reported in the New Jersey Herald, the dispute focused on a trademark said to be held by each of the event organizers. The event is centered around a potato dumpling known as a pierogi which has its roots in Polish culture. In the town of Whiting, Indiana, a festival has been held every year since 1995 celebrating pierogis and using the name Pierogi Fest. According to the man who chairs this festival, the use of the trademark has been granted to other organizers over the years after they sought permission.
In the town of Edwardsville, Pennsylvania, another festival celebrating pierogis has been held since 2014 but the group organizing this event did not reportedly seek approval from the Indiana group. Instead, they claim to own the trademark for the event. The Indiana organization is said to have sent requests to the Pennsylvania organization in both 2015 and 2017 regarding concerns that the use of the trademark would confuse consumers.
A lawsuit was filed in the case and has been settled but the details of the settlement have not been publicly disclosed.