NEW YORKKind LLC claims its competitor Clif Bar & Company has unlawfully imitated its snack bar.
Clif's new Mojo bar includes many features that resemble Kind's product, including "packaging with a transparent, rectangular front panel revealing a large portion of the bar itself," Kind alleged in a lawsuit filed Feb. 6 against Clif in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
"The overall impression conveyed by the new Mojo trade dress is confusingly similar to that of Kind," alleged the lawsuit, which was filed by the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.
According to Kind, Clif's new design for its Mojo bar "radically deviated" from its flagship Clif Bar and other products.
"In addition, the new Mojo trade dress reflects a new and dramatic leap over the line in what appears to have been a calculated progression of incremental changes, designed each time to get closer and closer to the trade dress of Kind bars and farther and farther from the package design elements that would associate the product with the Clif brand," Kind alleged in the lawsuit.
Kind has brought state and federal causes of action against Clif for trade dress infringement, deceptive acts, unfair competition and trade dress dilution. Kind has asked the court to permanently enjoin Clif from making the bars that allegedly infringe on its trade dress and award damages including profits that Clif has made from the supposed unlawful activity.
Clif is a long-standing and well-respected competitor in the nutritional bar marketplace, which makes this imminent release of a copy-cat product particularly disappointing," Daniel Lubetzky, Kind founder and CEO, said in a statement.
Clif Bar & Company declined to comment on the lawsuit.
"We're excited by the launch of our Clif Mojo Fruit and Nut and Clif Mojo Dark Chocolate flavors," the company said in a statement. "Retailers and consumers are thrilled to have a fruit and nut and dark chocolate snack bar made with 70 percent organic ingredients."