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George Foreman Grill Producer vs. George Foreman Foods Inc.
Salton, Inc., the producer of George Foreman Grill filed a complaint against George Foreman Foods Inc. regarding the use of the domain name . The complaint was denied.
Beyond the fame gained as a heavyweight boxer, becoming world champion in 1973 and 1994, George Foreman has become a renown brand for quite a wide range of quality products. In fact, the name has become so famous as a product brand that many of the younger generation have come to know the famous character through the products sold under this brand. Foreman himself admits that he gained more fame and wealth as a product endorser than he thought possible.
The brand sells from electrical products, to clothes, cleaning products, low-fat, grill-compatible products. However, the most notable of this series is the George Foreman Grill produced by US marketers Salton Inc. The company owns trademarks and trademark registrations for the mark GEORGE FOREMAN in the United States and elsewhere for products used for preparing, cooking, serving foods and beverages since 1995.
In 2002, George Foreman concluded an agreement with an entrepreneur to launch a line of meat products and other foods. The company became George Foreman Foods Inc. and was going to cause a whole series of problems. At present, Foreman is fighting to unwind the contract on the grounds that the company introduced products he didn't approve, such as coffee and old frozen meat products, thus putting Foreman's image at a risk of being spread too thin.
On the other hand, Salton Inc., filed a complaint against George Foreman Foods Inc. with the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) Arbitration and Mediation Center on September 24, 2004, on the grounds that the food's company use of the web domain www.georgeforeman.com breached Salton's registered trade marks in the name.
While looking at the matter from a holistic point of view, the complaint seems rather well-founded, the company's use of the domain creating the possibility of "confusion as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of its web site", as Salton alleged.
However, WIPO, although admitting that the domain name is identical to the mark in which Salton has rights, agreed that George Foreman Foods did have rights in the disputed domain name. The complaint was denied.
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