(PHILADELPHIA) — A Philadelphia-based vegan food company is accusing Dunkin’ and Beyond Meat of stealing its slogan.
The donut chain and plant-based meat giant teamed up a few years ago to create a vegan breakfast sandwich sold at Dunkin’ stores.
According to court documents obtained by ABC News from the U.S. District Court for the Intermediate District of Florida, Vegadelphia claimed that Dunkin Brands Inc and Beyond Meat Inc collectively “knew about this federally registered trademark based on information and of beliefs when they adopted the indistinguishable “good taste, plant-based slogan for a celebrity-laden national ad campaign supporting their Beyond Sausage meat substitute menu item.
Vegadelphia said in the complaint that it had been using its original slogan since 2013 and that the result of Dunkin’ and Beyond’s “illegal campaign” had caused a “profitable shift in Dunkin’s market positioning, expanding its sales nationwide, an increase in customer purchases per visit, the growth of Beyond’s loyal customer base, and an improvement in Dunkin’s stock price, greatly improving the goodwill of both companies.
The breakfast sandwich in question, made from Beyond Meat products, was launched in 2019, but other outlets, including Reuters, note that the chain removed it from most of its store menus last year. .
A representative for Dunkin’ told ABC News that the brand does not comment on ongoing litigation. Beyond Meat did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.
Vegadelphia also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The plant-based company, founded in 2004, sells its beef and chicken meat alternatives along the East Coast and at El Meson Sandwiches restaurants in Puerto Rico and Florida.
In addition to the alleged imitation of the slogan, Vegadelphia claimed that advertisements for Dunkin “used placement and imagery in their branding” which she called “almost identical” to hers. “The overlap of font style, stacked text, and even sunburst background images is beyond coincidence,” the lawsuit said in the court document.
According to the lawsuit, Beyond Meat applied for and was denied a trademark in 2020 nearly identical to “great-tasting, plant-based” by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office based on likely confusion with the Vegadelphia brand.
Vegadelphia asked the court to stop Dunkin’ and Beyond Meat from using the slogan and sought an undisclosed amount in damages.
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