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California bakery settles intellectual property infringement suit

If you drive along the coast for a little more than 100 miles north of San Diego, you will come to a little slice of Hawaii. You can a bit of the island’s cuisine in Torrance, home of King’s Hawaiian bakery. The company was founded in Hawaii back in the 1950s, but moved its headquarters to California in the late 1980s.

The company famous for its sweet Hawaiian buns recently settled an intellectual property lawsuit against German grocery giant Aldi. King’s Hawaiian had alleged that Aldi infringed on its IP.

The settlement is the second in three years in disputes between the two companies over King’s Hawaiian’s orange packaging. The Torrance company says it was protecting its distinctive packaging when it filed a lawsuit alleging IP infringement in a California federal court back in November of last year.

The latest suit also claimed that Aldi breached the earlier settlement of King’s Hawaiian’s 2015 lawsuit.

This time, the Torrance-based company accused Aldi of selling a sweet Hawaiian bread stuffing mix in packaging similar to King’s Hawaiian packaging. Most of the terms of the recent settlement remain confidential. However, Aldi has stated that it is going to change the packaging for its Hawaiian stuffing mix.

King's Hawaiian President and Chief Strategy Officer John Linehan said, "The King's Hawaiian packaging trade dress is one of our most valuable assets.” He said the company had a “top-notch two-firm legal team” devoted to protecting the company’s intellectual property rights. 

Intellectual property protection is increasingly important to California businesses determined to thrive. Companies and individuals in search of IP protection should contact an attorney experienced in this vital area of law.

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