Great Harvest sues Panera over slogan, alleging trademark infringement

Great Harvest Bread Co. is suing rival Panera Bread Co. for trademark infringement over the use of similar corporate slogans.

In its lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in North Carolina, Great Harvest Franchising and two Great Harvest franchisees allege Panera’s new “Food as it should be” ad slogan is confusingly similar to Great Harvest’s “Bread. The way it ought to be” slogan. Great Harvest argues that the two chains have overlapping goods and services and the similar phrases are likely to deceive customers into wrongly believing the companies are related.

Sunset Hills-based Panera debuted its “Food as it should be” advertising campaign in June 2015. The slogan references the chain’s pledge to rid its food of artificial ingredients. Panera had 1,972 restaurants as of Dec. 29.

Dillon, Mont.-based Great Harvest, which has more than 200 bakeries nationwide, including two in Kirkwood and Maplewood, has used the phrase “Bread. The way it ought to be” in its marketing since at least August 2014, according to company officials. Great Harvest applied for a trademark in October 2014, and the trademark was registered in December 2015.

Panera did not respond to requests for comment.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis Business Journal

 


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