Edgecraft Corporation, makers of Chef’s Choice sharpening tools, today announced that after three years of litigation, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has ruled in Edgecraft’s favor in a trademark case against Smith’s Consumer Products and that company’s use of the Edgeware trademark. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), a panel of federal judges, has found that Smith’s Consumer Products’ Edgeware trademark is confusingly similar to the Edgecraft trademark owned by EdgeCraft Corporation and therefore “likely to cause, confusion, mistake, or deception.” As a result, the three-judge panel ordered cancellation of the three Edgeware trademark registrations.
In his decision, Judge Anthony R. Masiello, who wrote the opinion, focused on EdgeCraft’s contention that in a relatively brief period of time since Smith’s 2008 adoption of the Edgeware trademark, there was a sufficient name and product confusion in the marketplace between both names to warrant the court’s ruling. The judges reviewed the evidence of confusion and described one incident stating, “If this incident does not undeniably illustrate confusion as between the Edgecraft and Edgeware marks, the collection of circumstances underlying it are a near-perfect recipe for likely confusion.”
Addressing the panel’s ruling EdgeCraft Corp. President Sam Weiner, said, “We are pleased with this legal ruling. It should help us address the concerns expressed by many of our retailers about the confusion created by Smith’s use of the Edgeware mark on store shelves, in catalogues and on the web.”
Also responding to the ruling Dan Glidden, CEO of Smith’s Consumer Products stated, “We were disappointed to learn about the decision handed down regarding our Edgeware trademark registrations. While we strongly disagree with this decision, Smith’s Consumer Products, Inc., with over 127 years of experience in the knife sharpening category, stands behind our extensive line of Edgeware and Smith’s sharpening products and kitchen tools.”
“The United States Patent and Trademark office granted Smith’s a valid Edgeware trademark in 2009 and we have subsequently used the Edgeware name in good faith and in compliance with all legal requirements. We have worked diligently to build a strong brand and we are fully committed to continue providing our retail partners with innovative, quality knife sharpeners and kitchen tools for the home cook. At this point we are evaluating our options and are committed to resolving this issue as quickly as possible.”