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NATURAL ORGANICS, INC. v. NEUTRACEUTICAL CORP.; SOLARAY

United States District Court, Southern District of New York


August 20, 2003

NATURAL ORGANICS, INC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
NEUTRACEUTICAL CORP. AND SOLARAY, INC., DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Owen Panner, Senior District Judge

OPINION AND ORDER

Having assessed the law and the facts applicable to this case, and particularly eyeballing the containers and packages, plaintiff has failed to satisfy the Court that the sophisticated consumers who purchases these types of products are likely to confuse the Soytein trade dress with the SPIRU-TEIN trade dress, or that defendants' use of the Soytein trade dress is likely to dilute a consumer's ability to identify or distinguish SPIRU-TEIN. While not completely free of question, the SPIRU-TEIN and Soytein trade dresses are sufficiently distinguishable considering their individual elements and the total impressions they give to consumers. The SPIRU-TEIN and Soytein trade dresses, while including many generic elements that are commonly included in the trade dress of almost every competing protein drink mix, the design and arrangement of these elements are different enough. The individual product names, SPIRU-TEIN and Soytein, are sufficiently different in types, arrangement, and color. The Court finds that a reasonable consumer looking at the two protein drink mixes would conclude that they are different products made by different companies.

Given the foregoing, the Court dismisses plaintiff's complaint and all claims therein with prejudice. I decline to award defendants attorney fees, this not being an "exceptional" case. [ Page 2]

The Court declines to address any declaratory judgment question, it not being necessary, the issues being fully resolved by the above ruling on the complaint.

Submit judgment accordingly.

So Ordered.

20030820

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