Snaks 5th Avenchew v. Saks Fifth Avenue

 

Entrepreneur, Carrie Sarabella, had trademarked the name ‘Snaks 5th Avenchew,’ (@Snaks5thAve) for her gourmet dog food brand. Saks Fifth Avenue got word of this cutely named pup snack and wasn’t wagging their tail. Instead, the entrepreneur received a cease-and-desist letter from the luxury retailer. The letter claimed that “Snaks 5th Avenchew’ infringed on Sak’s well-known brand name.

This dedicated, 32-year-old small-business owner from Hoboken, New Jersey wasn’t about to roll over and play dead.

 “I feel that I’m entitled to use the name with at least a little bit of a fight,” she told the Huffington Post. “What happens after today — I don’t know.” Sarabella told the newspaper.

In Sarbella’s response to the cease and desist, her lawyer argued the fair-use law. This law recognizes that parody marks cause no harm to an established mark.  Her lawyer’s argument had also cited two other pet-related brands that successfully spoofed larger well-known brands. Both Tommy Holedigger and Chewy Vuitton won federal infringement suits against Tommy Hilfiger and Louis Vuitton.
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After receiving Sarabella’s response, Saks 5th Avenue decided not to pursue the matter further. This  gives entrepreneurs a bit of faith when having to pick a dog fight with a larger, established company in a trademark dispute.  As long as you have the law and a good lawyer on your side, you may be alright.

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