May 12, 2021

Kashrus Agencies Deal with Trademark Infringement

Chicago…Kashrus agencies from around the globe dealt with a mutual problem that often creates havoc for the agencies and kosher consumers: trademark infringement. At an April 7th Mini Conference of the Association of Kashrus Organizations (AKO), various experts addressed ways of protecting the agencies from such infringement. Leading the presentation were legal experts who counseled on the selection of names to simplify identifying a product. The importance of registering a trademark was emphasized. “Using a symbol that has not been registered can provide common law rights within your region but will not protect you outside of your area and/or provide federal protection,” said one expert. It was also noted “to register your mark in countries in which you do business to prevent others from either registering your mark first in countries where ‘first to file’ exists, causing future issues such as blackmail or freezing shipments.” Examples of trademark infringement were formerly certified companies that continue to use a trademark, unauthorized Private Labels, companies that purchase kosher products and repackage them offsite, use on non-kosher items, and even Amazon/Online Listings. Legal remedies for the infringement were also discussed at length.