Dairy Queen Loses Trademark Dispute Over “Blizzard”

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Dairy Queen has lost its lawsuit against office products dealer W.B. Mason over its use of the word “Blizzard.”

Dairy Queen’s Blizzard is a popular frozen confection that the quick service restaurant chain has been selling since 1985, and the company alleged that its trademark was infringed W.B. Mason’s use of the word as names for its copier paper and bottle spring water.

U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson sided with W.B. Mason in a 217-page decision released on June 10, 2022, and released on Friday. She wrote that “Dairy Queen introduced no evidence of an actual association between the two products.”

In Dairy Queen’s 2018 lawsuit that it originally filed its home state of Minnesota, the company asserted that “W.B. Mason’s actions constitute unfair competition and false designation of origin under the common law of Minnesota and all states, and have caused and are likely to cause injury to the public, and have caused and are likely to cause Dairy Queen to suffer irreparable injury.”

In response, W.B. Mason filed a lawsuit in its home state of Massachusetts.

“Indeed, no reasonable person would ever mistakenly believe that copy paper or spring water sold by W.B. Mason and emblazoned with the W.B. MASON mark and logo emanates from, or is associated with (Dairy Queen),” attorneys for W.B. Mason maintained in their filing.

Berkshire Hathaway, which acquired Dairy Queen in 1998, has not decided whether to appeal the decision.

© 2022 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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