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Wendy's Frosty at the center of an intellectual property dispute

Business trademarks, patents, and concepts can all be protected under intellectual property law. This means that a business in Florida can protect their products from unfair competition. If another company sells a product that is too similar to a protected item, they may find themselves facing business litigation.

There is an intellectual property dispute brewing between the fast food chain Wendy’s and one of its competitors, United Dairy Farmers. In 2005, UDF began to sell frozen milkshakes under the name “Frosties” and “Frosty Malts.” Wendy’s has filed a lawsuit against UDF, asking them to stop selling these products immediately because they dilute the powerful and famous Frosty trademark. The UDF products are sold in red and yellow packaging, which Wendy’s claims is too similar to their own distinctive Frosty marketing. The lawsuit requests that all UDF “Frosties” and “Frosty Malt” packing be destroyed. 

Wendy’s has been selling their trademarked frozen dessert since 1969. The lawsuit alleges that the Frosty was one of the very first menu items that Wendy’s offered to customers and has made the company tens of millions of dollars. A spokesperson for the fast food company claims that UDF’s product will confuse customers because of the similarities. The CEO of UDF has not commented on the lawsuit. 

Business litigation can be extremely complex. In this case, there is a great deal of money at stake for both companies. If you are involved in a business dispute, you may want to seek representation. A lawyer may be of assistance in this area. 

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, “Wendy’s sues UDF over Frosty Trademark,” Mary Vanac, June 22, 2013

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