Many oppositions involve brands in the same industry, but in this case, the case pits an entertainment company against a restaurant. The application for Angry Chicken references a Korean chicken restaurant. And while the two brands may seem unrelated, Rovio is claiming that the goods and services at issue are related enough to cause consumer confusion.
If the application for Angry Chicken had been made in 2009 – the year Angry Birds was first released – there may have been no legitimate claim of trademark infringement. At the time, Rovio’s newest gaming brand had yet to gain international attention. Since that time, however, the Angry Birds name has shown up just about everywhere.
From children’s footwear to Angry Birds minigolf, the brand has expanded far outside its original footprint. The Angry Birds trademark is now on several edible products such as snack foods, cake toppers, candy decorations and even a line of sauces. This is where Rovio claims a likelihood of confusion is likely to exist.
One of the key considerations of whether consumer confusion is likely – a primary element of trademark infringement – is whether a company might expand into other product lines. In the case of Angry Birds, this has already happened. The megabrand also claims that trademark dilution would occur if the Angry Chicken trademark were granted.
While the Angry Bird application was for an intent to use trademark, the company appears to have been using the name since at least 2017. The restaurant brand has until January 16, 2021 to respond to the opposition notice, and if the larger entertainment corporation is successful, the restaurant may need to rethink its name and branding.
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