Judge rules there is no likelihood of confusion between PureOaty branding and Oatly trademarks
Oatly has lost its trademark infringement case against independent British oat milk producer Glebe Farm’s PureOaty brand.
In 2020, the Swedish oat milk maker claimed that Glebe Farm was infringing on its trademark with the use of their PureOaty branding and blue milk carton packaging.
In its case, Oatly also argued that Glebe Farm’s redesigned packaging, released in January 2020, “was intended to take unfair advantage of the distinctive character or repute of the Oatly trade marks”.
However, the judge believes there is no likelihood of confusion between the PureOaty name and packaging and any of the Oatly trademarks.
The final judgement, released this week, said there was a relatively low or at best modest level of similarity between Oatly and Glebe Farm’s packaging.
“In these circumstances, it seems to me that Oatly’s unfair advantage claim is a difficult one,” the judgement read.
Consumers filed a Change.org petition against Oatly during the case to protest its “aggressively, and wholly unnecessarily, attempt to stop a much smaller family-owned oat milk company from selling and sowing its own oats”.
Over 130,000 signatures have been collected to date via the site.
Responding to the judgment, Glebe Farm owner and managing director Phillip Rayner said: “There is room in a growing category for alternatives. We’d like to think growth opportunities come from positivity in broadening sector choice, rather than from trying to shut things down and limiting consumer options.”
Oatly said it had not intended to damage Glebe Farm, but rather wanted to protect its trademark.
Date published: 5 August 2021