What is it with ice cream that attracts trademark infringements? First Ben & Jerry’s (earlier post here) and now Häagen-Dasz.
Owner of the Häagen-Dasz trademark, General Mills, has won an important case before a Chinese court against the use of the name ‘Haager-Dasz’.
Although the Chinese brand Haager-Dasz was registered for ‘clothing’, a Beijing Court dismissed a ruling by the trade appeal board. The appeal board ruled earlier that the trademark Häagen-Dazs wasn’t sufficiently well known with the “relevant” Chinese public.
The higher court did not agree: the “Haagen-Dazs” ice cream brand is well known. It is very likely that the public will be confused if the clothing maker could use “Haager Dasz” on its products. Use of such a similar-sounding mark is “obviously malicious”, the court said.
A big win for General Mills, and justly so, MarkMatters.com thinks. Such clear and obvious infringements must be stopped.
Trademark Trivia: for those of you who think Häagen-Dasz is a Scandinavian brand, you are so wrong. The mark originates from the US, from the New York City Bronx, to be exact. Polish immigrant Reuben Mattus invented the Danish sounding Häagen-Dazs as a tribute to Denmark’s exemplary treatment of its Jews during the Second World War. Mattus also thought that Denmark was known for its dairy products and had a positive image in the US. Mattus’ daughter once stated that her father sat at the kitchen table for hours, saying nonsensical words until he came up with a combination he liked. The reason he chose this method was so that the name would be unique and original. As the best brand names often are.
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